The 5 Biggest Cincinnati Bengals Rumors Heading into OTAs

The 5 Biggest Cincinnati Bengals Rumors Heading into OTAs

Giovani Bernard
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals have steadily improved over the past three seasons, finishing 9-7, 10-6 and 11-5. The result in the playoffs, however, has remained the same. Three consecutive first-round losses have put a damper on Cincinnati's success. To get back to the tournament and beyond the first round, the Bengals will need to improve in several areas during the development stage of the offseason. Here are five current rumors surrounding the team.

5. Emmanuel Lamur Will Be New Starting SLB

Emmanuel Lamur
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

5. Emmanuel Lamur Will Be New Starting SLB

Emmanuel Lamur
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Emmaunel Lamur only played in nine games as a rookie in 2012 and missed all of last season with a shoulder injury, but word out of Cincinnati is he'll likely be the team's new starting strong-side linebacker come Week 1. He may lack experience, but he isn't short on potential. With the athletic ability to play on every down, Lamur should upgrade Cincinnati's linebacker corps if he can stay healthy.

4. Mike Pollak Will Be New Starting C

Mike Pollak
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

4. Mike Pollak Will Be New Starting C

Mike Pollak
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Despite five starts at right guard in 2013, Mike Pollak is expected to be the Bengals' new starting center in 2014. Russell Bodine, a fourth-round pick out of North Carolina, will also compete for the job, but Pollak has enough experience and versatility to be considered the heavy favorite entering training camp.

3. A.J. Green Will See Drop Off in Targets

A.J. Green
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

3. A.J. Green Will See Drop Off in Targets

A.J. Green
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

New offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has been insistent that the Bengals' biggest prerogative in 2014 will be cutting down on turnovers. Force-feeding star receiver A.J. Green less will be one possible way to do so. Making wiser decisions with the football will be key for quarterback Andy Dalton after 20 interceptions a year ago.

2. Giovani Bernard Will Line Up in Slot More Often

Giovani Bernard
Stan Liu-USA TODAY Sports

2. Giovani Bernard Will Line Up in Slot More Often

Giovani Bernard
Stan Liu-USA TODAY Sports

Giovani Bernard had a promising rookie campaign running and catching passes out of the backfield last season. Moving forward, getting him the football as frequently as possible appears to be a recipe for success in Cincinnati. With that in mind, offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is expected to utilize Bernard more often in the slot. Bernard's versatility as a runner and pass catcher is too much of an asset not to.

1. Bengals Will Run Ball More Frequently Under New OC

Jeremy Hill LSU
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

1. Bengals Will Run Ball More Frequently Under New OC

Jeremy Hill LSU
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of Giovani Bernard and new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, the Bengals are expected to make establishing the run more of a priority in 2014. Andy Dalton attempted the eight most passes in the league last year. Cutting down on those attempts will be key to limiting turnovers and falling in line with Jackson's philosophy. Also, the addition of LSU's Jeremy Hill in the draft gives Cincinnati a potentially lethal committee of backs.


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