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Bengals Bytes (7/22): Questions that need answered at training camp

The Bengals still have to show some changes and improvements in several areas.

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Minicamp Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals: 5 pressing questions the team must answer in camp
On Monday, rookies report to Paul Brown Stadium. Mock turtle soup will be served Tuesday at the team’s annual media luncheon that kicks off the season with Mike Brown, Marvin Lewis and coordinators addressing reporters. Wednesday will be the first open locker room session of the year with veterans reporting for camp.

PFF’s Cincinnati Bengals players for the 2018 fantasy season
The top players are pretty well-known at this point. Running backs Le’Veon Bell, Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott, wide receivers Antonio Brown, Julio Jones and Odell Beckham and tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce, to name a few.

Bengals Training Camp Capsule
LAST YEAR: Missed playoffs for second straight season. Coach Marvin Lewis got two-year contract extension despite 0-7 playoff mark, worst in NFL history. He’s entering 16th season with Bengals, who have yet to win playoff game since 1990 season, longest active postseason drought in NFL and sixth longest in league history. Bill Lazor was promoted to interim offensive coordinator two games into season and retains role, given freedom to overhaul unit that finished last in yards. Teryl Austin was hired as defensive coordinator, replacing Paul Guenther, who joined Jon Gruden with Raiders.

USA Today projects Bengals finish 7-9
Like ESPN, USA Today doesn’t have a ton of confidence in the Cincinnati Bengals heading into 2018. The Bengals apparently haven’t done enough to earn respect in the projections department, which in large part stems from the retention of head coach Marvin Lewis.

Bleacher Report Is a Fan of Bengals 2017 Draft Haul
Bleacher Report put out a ranking of all 32 teams’ draft classes from last year, now one year later. The Bengals ranked tenth overall, which is pretty solid. The team had 11 picks, although only 8 of them are still on the roster. In order, the Bengals drafted WR John Ross, RB Joe Mixon, DE Jordan Willis, LB Carl Lawson, WR Josh Malone, DT Ryan Glasgow, K Jake Elliot, LB Jordan Evans, C JJ Dielman, S Brandon Wilson, and TE Mason Schreck. Elliot, Dielman, and Schreck are no longer on the team.

AFC North Bytes

Cleveland Browns: Talkin' expectations, excitement, reality
OK, I'm even a bit excited. As are many fans, at least based on emails and conversations coming my way. For years, fans have said, "Well, it can't get any worse, right?" In the last four seasons, the Browns defied that statement as victory totals dropped each season from seven to four to one and then 0-16.

Ravens Recent Drafts Show Promise
As the Ravens prepare for the 2018 season there seems to be some cautious optimism and real buzz around the team. That optimism stems largely from a revamped wide receiver corps and an engaged Joe Flacco. The buzz comes from Lamar Jackson, the Ravens future plans for him and the pressure he puts on Joe Flacco to perform. There’s also a major sense of urgency among the players and coaches who have been the face of the franchise the last decade. John Harbaugh needs to get this team back to the playoffs or chances are his days in Baltimore are over. Joe Flacco may be in his final year regardless, considering Lamar Jackson and the way his contract is structured.

Random Bytes

Former Syracuse LB Zaire Franklin provides uniforms to Philadelphia school
After being selected in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts, Zaire Franklin decided that he wanted to give back to his hometown of Philadelphia. So on Friday, the former Syracuse football linebacker traveled to Kenderton School in North Philly and announced his plan to outfit and provide uniforms for every student in kindergarten through 5th grade.

1 NFL Player at Each Position Who Will Explode into Stardom in 2018
Stardom isn't easy to achieve and requires two key ingredients: standout individual performance and outside recognition. Harrison Ford wouldn't have become one of the most successful actors in cinematic history if no one showed up to watch Star Wars 41 years ago.

NFL Rumors: Bashaud Breeland Visiting Raiders, Chiefs
Now that he is healthy and ready to get back on the field, veteran cornerback Bashaud Breeland will resume his free agency as he looks for a place to play next season. ESPN's Rob Demovsky reported on Saturday that Breeland will visit the Oakland Raiders on Sunday and Monday as well as the Kansas City Chiefs on Tuesday.