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Bengals Bytes (8/14): Cincinnati has a need for speed on special teams

The Bengals have gotten noticeably faster on special teams this season, which could end up paying huge dividends.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Training Camp Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY NE

Speed could make teams special again
Take two plays from late in the third quarter of last week’s pre-season opener and this is why the Bengals traded up to the sixth round to take Houston safety Brandon Wilson a year ago and stayed where they were this year to take Western Michigan cornerback Darius Phillips, their last of three fifth-round picks at No. 170.

Tez tweaks ankle; Redmond gets look
If WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict was going to play at all in the preseason, that may be by the boards after he suffered what appeared to be a foot injury in Monday’s practice. Burfict was covering tight end Moritz Bohringer on a pass in an early team period when they appeared to click heels before going to the ground.

Camp report: Dunlap thinks this line can be his best when it comes to sacks
Pass rush guru Chuck Smith made what has become his annual pilgrimage to Bengals training camp the past two sessions, but Carlos Dunlap knows the emphasis Saturday in Dallas (7 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) is stopping the run for a variety of reasons.

90+96=Back to School in Cincy
While the NFL’s grind of news and knocks is far from a walk in the park and never takes an off day, Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson quietly took the Bengals’ day off Sunday and let the kids walk through the park at their annual Back to School Fun Dey.

NFL Power Rankings - 32 surprise players to watch 2018 preseason
The ESPN power panel -- a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities -- evaluated how all 32 teams stack up, with a look at players who could be surprising contributors or veterans who are in danger of being left off the roster.

Why Your Team Sucks 2018: Cincinnati Bengals
Some people are fans of the Cincinnati Bengals. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Cincinnati Bengals. This 2018 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

5 Bengals takeaways from Monday’s training camp practice
Monday, Cincinnati Bengals training camp resumed the roster battles and preparation for Saturday’s preseason Week 2 game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Cincinnati Bengals sign defensive tackle Simeyon Robinson
The Bengals announced the signing of defensive tackle Simeyon Robinson, a college free agent from James Madison University, on Monday. Robinson, 6-foot-1, 274 pounds, totaled 128 tackles, including 32 for losses and 13.5 sacks, in four seasons at James Madison.

Random Bytes

Tom Brady expects to play on Thursday night
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady didn’t play against Washington last week, but it looks like he will be back in the lineup for this week’s preseason game against an NFC East opponent.

Report: Dolphins Cut DT Gabe Wright After He Punched Kenyan Drake in Practice
The Miami Dolphins are set to release defensive tackle Gabe Wright after an altercation in practice Monday, according to Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post.

Saquon Barkley Has Mild Strain After Leaving Giants Practice with Leg Injury
"I don't know [what happened]," head coach Pat Shurmur said of Barkley, who was seen with a wrap on his left leg, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. "We'll see. I think he's all right, but we'll find out."

2018 NFL Training Camp: Update on Every Team's Biggest Position Battle
The NFL prides itself on being the ultimate meritocracy. But the reality is far different. Only a few starting positions and roster spots are available once each organization concedes a preference toward established veterans, free-agent acquisitions and draft picks.

Ravens FB/DL Patrick Ricard has ‘impressive versatility’
In a sport with many niches and hyperspecialized roles for players to fill, Baltimore Ravens fullback/defensive lineman Patrick Ricard stands out as a proverbial Swiss Army knife. One play he’s lining up as a receiver on the practice field, and the next he switches sides to play on defense — as he did at Saturday’s practice.