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Bengals Bytes (7/24): Preston Brown could be the key to defensive improvement

Metric stats show how Preston Brown could lead to some big changes for the Bengals defense.

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

John Ross reaches final four of NFL charity Fortnite tournament
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross devoted some of the free time after dazzling onlookers at OTAs to participate in a charity Fortnite tournament. Like most NFL players active on social media, Ross plays Fortnite, the battle royale game that has quickly become one of the most popular games in history.

Bengals place Brandon Bell on active/non-football injury list
The Bengals announced they placed linebacker Brandon Bell on the active/non-football injury list. He will count against the roster and will return to practice when he is medically cleared.

Bengals training camp: Info for families about watching, parking, more
As 2018 Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp gets under way, fans can attend 12 open practices between July 26 and Aug. 11. Here are some things to keep in mind: Most practices are held on the practice fields just west of Paul Brown Stadium. These include daily practices Thurs., July 26 through Thurs., Aug. 2 as well as Mon., Aug. 6, Tues., Aug. 7 and Sat., Aug. 11 at 3 p.m. each day and a practice Fri., Aug. 3 at 6 p.m.

Advanced metrics show why Preston Brown is key to Bengals defense in 2018
Preston Brown is a great story for the Cincinnati Bengals. After years of floating around in a rough Buffalo Bills defense, Brown returns home to the Cincinnati area and gets to play for his hometown team.

AFC North Bytes

2018 Steelers training camp preview: Cornerbacks
Last offseason, the Pittsburgh Steelers dedicated a ton of resources to rebuilding the cornerback depth chart. Results were mixed but there is plenty to look forward to in 2018. The defensive coaches began the process of adding in more man coverage last season and there were growing pains. Hopefully, this unit is ready to add in even more concepts and with it create more big plays for the defense.

More plays using both quarterbacks? Baltimore Ravens not ruling it out
Some of the biggest cheers have come when the Ravens use Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on the field at the same time. For a couple of times each practice, Flacco begins at quarterback and Jackson lines up at multiple positions.

Random Bytes

B/R POWER 50: Meet the Most Influential People in Sports Culture Right Now
Here at Bleacher Report, we've debated that question all year. And the answer is not some equation or another power ranking. Influence is when "we will not shut up and dribble" is an answer people listen to, because you've been to the last seven NBA Finals. And when the entire sports world watches your family vacation on Instagram, just to see where you'll go next? That's power.

Jimmy Garoppolo Is Superman in Disguise
Ten hours after Bill Belichick called to tell him he’d been traded to the Niners, Jimmy Garoppolo almost died. The Patriots had received a better offer from the Browns—multiple high-round draft picks—but Belichick believed San Francisco offered more possibilities for the young quarterback; he settled for a second-rounder. When a report surfaced that Tom Brady played a role in the exit of his own protégé, Garoppolo felt grateful that he didn’t have to answer questions in public, high-tailing straight outta Boston. “Parts of it were true, parts of it I knew weren’t true, parts I didn’t know if they were true or not,” Garoppolo says now. “I appreciated that Coach Belichick put me in the best situation—you hear those horror stories about guys finding out from … Twitter.”

Saints Punter Thomas Morstead Completes 418 Pull-Ups for Charity Fundraiser
New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead did a whopping 418 pull-ups in an hour in an effort to help raise money and awareness for a "school fund for the children of Chris Cordaro, a former Saints employee who was diagnosed with neuroendocrine carcinoma in the pancreas, liver, bone, spine, scalp and multiple lymph nodes in 2015," according to John DeShazier of the team's website.