By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on May 24, 2014
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
September 2, 2015 by Blaine Grisak
The Chiefs and Rams go head to head in week four of the preseason. Find out who will come out ahead on Thursay. Read More
September 2, 2015 by Casey Drottar
After two average seasons, it's time for Barkevious Mingo to prove his worth with the Cleveland Browns. Read More
September 2, 2015 by Doug Green
Believe it or not, the Jacksonville Jaguars and troubled receiver Justin Blackmon are still connected. It's high time the Jags finally cut the cord and let Blackmon go. Read More
September 2, 2015 by Andrew Frosceno
James Jones will proved to be a key offseason signing for the New York Giants. Read More
September 2, 2015 by Paul Schaum
The final week of preseason is upon us, as the Broncos and Cardinals look to finalize their rosters heading into Week 1 of the 2015 NFL season. Read More
September 2, 2015 by Richard Nurse
Arrogance may be the biggest weapon in Robert Griffin’s destruction. Read More
September 2, 2015 by K.J. Momberg
Can Colt McCoy surpass Robert Griffin III on the Washington Redskins' depth chart? Here are five bold predictions for Thursday's game between the Redskins and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Read More
September 2, 2015 by Kyle Nishida
The Indianapolis Colts had been fortunate enough to keep their kep players healthy this preseason. However, their luck ran out when defensive tackle Arthur Jones went down with an injury. Read More