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Bengals Bytes (8/15): Who you should put your money on in the AFC North

Are the Bengals a good bet based on their projeted season win total?

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

A.J. Green Out to Be the GOAT: 'That's What I Strive for Every Day' | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights
CINCINNATI — He relishes every millisecond of practice because practice has the unique ability to carve the fat out of pro football. The only noises are the grunts of linemen, the shouting of coaches, the whistling of receivers cutting in and out of breaks and, this day, one fan screaming, "I'm 6'11" and ready to sign!"

Camp report: putting the bass in Bates
Jessie Bates isn’t exactly in his bailiwick just quite yet in his first preseason as an NFL safety. But while they’re looking to add more bass to his communication skills, they think they’ve got a catchy tune that can evolve into a hit. Head coach Marvin Lewis has gone so far to sing praises heralding Bates as a contributor potentially soon.

Marvin Lewis News Conference Transcript 8/14
“No it’s still training camp, and working on doing the things we feel like we need to install on both offense and defense. It’s really not (a normal regular-season week).”

Lewis won't rush Eifert
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis won’t say if tight end Tyler Eifert plays Saturday in Dallas (7 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12), but what he will say is don’t be surprised if he doesn’t appear in the second pre-season game.

NFL odds: AFC North win total bets, best value picks
While the defense has been a question mark since Ryan Shazier's tragic injury, the Steelers have enough firepower to run away with the AFC North again. The Ravens, meanwhile, are hoping an offensive makeover will push them back into playoff contention. The Bengals are fresh off back-to-back spoiler victories against playoff hopefuls to finish 2017, and might be ready to turn a corner while the Browns have loaded up on young talent—but still have to prove they know how to use it.

Injuries force young Bengals linebackers into bigger role
That leaves fifth-year player Preston Brown, who was acquired from Buffalo this offseason, as the most veteran player likely to be available for the team’s second preseason game Saturday at Dallas and possibly closer to the regular season. A group of six rookies or second-year players join Brown and third-year linebacker Nick Vigil in the competition for playing time and roster spots.

Profiling the Backup Running Backs for the Bengals
The two guys who Bengals fans should care about the most at running back are obviously Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard. We have spent a lot of time discussing them, though, and not as much on the guys backing them up. Mixon and Bernard complement each other well, but there are gaps in their collective games. The Bengals have a big crop of backup running backs right now that they can use to fill in those gaps.

Random Bytes

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Carson Wentz Still Targeting Week 1 for Injury Return: 'It's Going to Be Close'
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Rashaad Penny Hand Injury Includes Broken Finger, Out 3-4 Weeks
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