5 Storylines to Follow During Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp

5 Storylines to Follow During Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp

Vontaze Burfict Cincinnati Bengals
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Another year, another playoff berth, and another January loss for the Cincinnati Bengals in the Marvin Lewis era. However, the team is primed for big things in 2014—it will be surprising if they relinquish the AFC North throne. With the dog days of summer approaching, let’s take a look at some storylines to keep tabs on during training camp.

5. The Murky Future of BenJarvus Green-Ellis

BenJarvus Green-Ellis Cincinnati Bengals
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

5. The Murky Future of BenJarvus Green-Ellis

BenJarvus Green-Ellis Cincinnati Bengals
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill are the locks to make the roster, leaving Green-Ellis to compete with the likes of Rex Burkhead, Justin Jones Jr., and Cedric Peerman. While beating out these younger guys isn’t an insurmountable task, Green-Ellis is no spring chicken at age 29. It’s quite possible that the Bengals will opt for youth when it’s time to make final cuts.

4. The Impact of Darqueze Dennard

Darqueze Dennard Cincinnati Bengals
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

4. The Impact of Darqueze Dennard

Darqueze Dennard Cincinnati Bengals
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals felt like they won the lottery when Dennard fell to them at 24th overall in May's draft. Dennard, considered by many to be the best pure defensive back in the 2014 rookie class, brings youth to an aging secondary. It’s only a matter of time until he unseats Adam Jones or Terence Newman for a starting spot—with a solid performance in camp, Dennard should be at least the nickel corner in Week 1.

3. The Development of Tyler Eifert

Tyler Eifert Cincinnati Bengals
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

3. The Development of Tyler Eifert

Tyler Eifert Cincinnati Bengals
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Eifert’s rookie campaign was somewhat disappointing production-wise, but he showed flashes of playmaking ability at points. Look for the Bengals to attempt giving Eifert an expanded role in training camp and watching how he handles it.

2. Vontaze Burfict on a Mission

Vontaze Burfict Cincinnati Bengals
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

2. Vontaze Burfict on a Mission

Vontaze Burfict Cincinnati Bengals
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

After being named the 52nd best player in the NFL by his peers, Burfict is riding high. Look for Burfict to set a precedent in training camp that 2014 will be a special season for him. He is definitely an early frontrunner for Defensive Player of the Year honors.

1. Marvin Jones as A.J. Green's Sidekick

Marvin Jones Cincinnati Bengals
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

1. Marvin Jones as A.J. Green's Sidekick

Marvin Jones Cincinnati Bengals
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Jones burst out for 51 receptions, 712 yards, and 10 touchdowns last year, taking advantage of favorable matchups courtesy of his pal A.J. Green. As long as Jones separates himself from Mohamed Sanu in training camp, he will have the opportunity to bump up that production and even flirt with 1,000 yards.