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Bengals Bytes (7/25): Changes coming to the offensive and defensive playbooks

It has been a long time since the Bengals changed their offense and defense, but they are about to give it a go for the 2018 season.

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals Media Day The Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY NETWORK

Bengals set to open two new playbooks
When offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin huddled with the press at Tuesday’s training camp media luncheon, this hadn’t happened to the Bengals since 1980. It officially marked the Bengals moving into training camp with a new look for both offense and defense for the first time since Forrest Gregg became head coach 38 years ago, so long ago that the Bengals had yet to adopt the title of “offensive coordinator,” and referred to Lindy Infante as simply “receivers/quarterbacks coach.”

Notebook: Preston emerging in Tez absence; Eifert status unknown; Mike Brown handles political footballs
For the third straight preseason Bengals WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict is getting ready for a regular season he won’t be able to play at least the first three games because of a suspension. This time he’s missing the first four games because of violating NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances. Head coach Marvin Lewis has approached it two different ways. In 2016 he hardly practiced him and didn’t play Burfict in the preseason. Last year he did. At Tuesday’s training camp media luncheon Lewis wouldn’t say how he’ll do it, but he indicated he’ll play him.

Lewis looks to keep surprising
There was the “Re-Birth of 2003,” when he overhauled a dormant franchise in his image and led the Bengals to the biggest turnaround that year from 2-14 to 8-8 and their first non-losing season in seven years.

Daugherty: Cincinnati Bengals are different now, yet very much same
The Bengals will argue they’re very different now. They’re right. Kind of. They have a new defensive coordinator. They have an offensive coordinator promoted early last season, importing new ideas. They have young players of whom they expect great things. So does everyone else.

Tyler Eifert (back) will not be ready for start of Bengals' camp
Eifert's health is still "as up in the air as it was six weeks ago." Team executive Duke Tobin did comment, "Hopefully [he] can come back and be a factor for us.... [but] I can’t predict the future on that one." Eifert has played in just 10 games over the past two years and only 24 over the past four. Despite fantasy starter upside when healthy, Eifert is already questionable for Week 1 and beyond.

Cincinnati Bengals owner confident team can 'right our ship'
Perhaps nothing illustrates Cincinnati Bengals owner and president Mike Brown’s aversion to change better than the annual pre-training camp luncheon, where the menu is one of the few things around Paul Brown Stadium that predates Marvin Lewis.

Marvin Lewis believes Bengals “have the ability” to win the Super Bowl
That speculation ended with a two-year deal that came as a surprise to those who saw the team’s 13-18-1 record over the last two seasons as a sign that it was time for a new direction in Cincinnati. Lewis’ take on what the team can accomplish this year will likely come as a surprise to a lot of people as well.

Marvin Lewis talks about almost leaving Bengals
As the season came to a close, reports surfaced that Lewis was already on his way out the door despite his team fighting hard. Lewis and team owner Mike Brown hadn’t talked about an extension — which they said was typical — but it was hard to shake the feeling the relationship had run its course.

AFC North Bytes

Baker Mayfield Reportedly Agrees to 4-Year Rookie Contract with Brown
After being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, Baker Mayfield is officially a member of the Cleveland Browns. The team announced Tuesday it agreed to terms on a four-year contract with the quarterback.

Report: Terrell Edmunds, Steelers Agree to 4-Year, $10.8 Million Rookie Contract
The Pittsburgh Steelers and safety Terrell Edmunds agreed to a four-year rookie-scale contract Tuesday that will pay him $10.8 million guaranteed with a $6 million signing bonus, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Random Bytes

Todd Gurley's Rams deal: Impact on RBs, Aaron Donald
The Rams have signed two massive long-term contracts in as many weeks, and neither one of them locked up Aaron Donald. One of them was even for a (gasp) running back. These facts have too many people irrationally upset after Todd Gurley's market-moving four-year, $60 million extension, with $45 million in guarantees, was reported Tuesday.

Rams Working on Aaron Donald Contract After Todd Gurley Deal, GM Les Snead Says
The Los Angeles Rams have already signed running back Todd Gurley and wide receiver Brandin Cooks to lucrative long-term extensions this summer, and general manager Les Snead said Tuesday the team is "working" to complete a similar deal with defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Report: Earl Thomas Won't Report to Seahawks Training Camp Amid Contract Dispute
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the news Tuesday, noting Thomas is entering the final season of the four-year contract extension he inked in 2014. Rapoport suggested Thomas' performance "has clearly earned a new deal" as a defensive centerpiece, explaining his decision to not report to training camp.