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Bengals News (6/8): Catching on

Bengals rookie running back Chris Evans appears to be fitting into the role Cincinnati was hoping he could fill.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 21 Michigan at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bengals Rookie RB Evans Catching The Rebound
"After he has a long NFL career, he's going to be a great coach," says Antaiwn Mack, the Huron High School head man who hired Evans to coach his special teams just down the road from the University of Michigan's Big House. "Just the kind of young man you want around your program."

Left tackle Jonah Williams wants to prove Bengals right
“That means a lot to me,” Williams said, via Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I really appreciate that from coach. I take that very seriously, and I want to prove them right and prove the team right and do what it takes to be a great left tackle.”

Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick drumming up interest on free-agent market
Former Bengals corner Dre Kirkpatrick, a first-round pick by the team in 2012, has a visit lined up with the New Orleans Saints and has also recently had contact with the New England Patriots, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Bengals depth chart 2021: Cincinnati's projected Week 1 starters heading into OTAs, training camp
After two years of building the roster, Taylor and the Bengals should finally have enough talent to compete in the AFC North. They might not be quite ready to win the division, but this is a team that could surprise a lot of outsiders by competing for a playoff spot.

Former NFL Wide Receiver Nate Burleson is Buying Tee Higgins Stock
"If you weren't watching Tee Higgins last year, you were living under a rock because this dude was ballin," Burleson said on NFL Network. "That combination between Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins right out the gate, we know that these guys are going to be quite a duo for quite some time. And think about it, these guys added firepower. You bring in Ja'Marr Chase to this offense? What is the defense going to do with two young studs that are young and ready to go out there and ball out? Who are you going to double in this offense?

Video Breakdown of Two Key Areas Where Joe Burrow Can Improve This Season
Despite the success, the 24-year-old quarterback can still grow in plenty of ways moving forward. Film analyst Mark Schofield broke down multiple plays from last season and examined two key areas where Burrow could improve this season. Watch the video below.

Around the league

Former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel passes away at age 71
Fassel won the 1997 AP NFL Coach of the Year award after his first season as Giants coach. Three years later, by virtue of his mid-season guarantee to make the playoffs in 2000, Fassel's Giants became NFC champions before losing to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV. During his seven seasons as Giants coach, Fassel reached the playoffs three times and accumulated a regular-season record of 58-53-1.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers not expected to report for minicamp
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported the latest development in the ongoing saga between Rodgers and the Packers, noting that there is "no change" in regards to the star's status, per an informed source.

Which NFL rookie running backs will thrive in 2021? My analytics-based top-five rankings
Working with my model and exploring which rushers could be most productive in Year 1, I recognize that there is more uncertainty when it comes to potential fatigue -- i.e., rookies hitting the wall -- due to the fact that A) the 2020 college schedule was abbreviated for many and B) the NFL is about to embark on its first 17-game regular season. So, in your fantasy scheming, take these rankings to be each guy's median projection -- not the ceiling -- and remember to consider a handcuff.

Fangio: 'Too early to come to any conclusions' on QB battle between Bridgewater, Lock at Broncos OTAs
According to reporters at practice, the competition included Lock throwing two interceptions and nearly a third while focusing on getting through his progressions and taking more check-downs. Bridgewater, meanwhile, reportedly was accurate and appeared to already have a solid rapport with second-year wideout Jerry Jeudy.