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The Orange and Black Insider Bengals podcast: 1/22 livestreamby Anthony Cosenza on January 23, 2020 at 12:45 am
Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images The crew dissects the comments made by Duke Tobin in our exclusive interview, while John Sheeran catches us up on the sights, sounds and impressive players at the 2020 Senior Bowl. The offseason is in full-swing for the Cincinnati Bengals, as their coaching staff is heading up one of the squads at the 2020 Senior Bowl. While down south, our own John Sheeran caught up with Bengals Director of Player Personnel, Duke Tobin, to ask him about some draft strategies to be used this April. We talk about some of Tobin’s comments this week, as they provided both answers and a lack of clarity, in terms of how the picks may be used. In case you missed the interview, check it out here: John also catches us up on all things Senior Bowl. He’s down in Mobile, Alabama for the big event, and has some updates on intriguing players. Join us at 8:30 p.m. ET live! If you’re unable to join us live here at Cincy Jungle or YouTube for every episode, all Orange and Black Insider content is available here on CJ, the Stitcher, Spotify, iHeart Radio and Google Play Music apps, our YouTube channel, as well as through Megaphone and, as always, on iTunes! You can tweet us @BengalsOBI or get in touch with us via email at email@example.com. Thanks for listening and go subscribe to our channels!
Zac Taylor talks A.J. Green contract situationby PatrickJudis on January 22, 2020 at 6:00 pm
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images A.J. Green has had a couple of rough injuries the past two seasons, but Zac Taylor doesn’t want any confusion over how he views the veteran wide receiver. Head coach Zac Taylor is heading into his second offseason with the Bengals. His first order of business may be coaching the South team at the Senior Bowl, but he still obviously has an eye on the state of his team entering a vital offseason for his future. One big part of this offseason, as Taylor sees it, appears to be Cincinnati bringing back wide receiver A.J. Green. Just asked Zac Taylor off podium if AJ Green was a priority for the #Bengals to bring back and he said he definitely is. Said he is back healthy and a huge weapon; says the plan is for him to remain in Cindy but there will have to be contract conversations this spring.— RosterWatch (@RosterWatch) January 21, 2020 It should come as no surprise that an offensive minded head coach wants to bring back the team’s best receiver. It seems like a no brainer to even want Green on your team. When he is on the field he demands a ton of attention which opens up things for players like Tyler Boyd and John Ross. It also keeps teams from crowding the line of scrimmage, so Joe Mixon doesn’t have to deal with so much traffic early in his carry. The reasons things are even in question are because Cincinnati is sometimes hesitant to pay their aging stars, Green is going to be 32 in July and the wide receiver has already stated he wants a long term deal. The most realistic situation is Green getting franchise tagged by the Bengals this offseason. The veteran receiver said he is prepared to sit out OTA’s if that comes to pass, which is fair given that he wouldn’t have his long term future secure. Green is well aware that his next contract could be his last big payday in the NFL, and he seems very willing to take it from the Bengals, but he also knows that his biggest negotiation chip is the threat of leaving Cincinnati. It really is the only leverage players can have. The best case scenario seems to be Cincinnati for them to franchise tag Green, but then work out a multi-year contract before the season. The Bengals will likely be clearing a ton of cap this offseason with quarterback Andy Dalton ($17.7 million) and offensive tackle Cordy Glenn ($9.5 million) having their contracts erased from the books. You could easily fit a contract in there for Green on top of all the cap space the team already has. It is just great to see that Taylor isn’t tip toeing around the subject of whether he wants Green to return next season. He still has yet to see what his offense can do with the pro bowl wide receiver after he missed all of 2019. There shouldn’t be any doubt the Green being a part of this offense can only make it better. He could also be very valuable to have for a possible rookie quarterback transitioning to the NFL. In some way shape or form, Green will be with the Bengals in 2020, but it is a matter of if he will be with the team after that.
Prospects Bengals will coach for Senior Bowlby PatrickJudis on January 22, 2020 at 2:00 pm
Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images With the roster set, which prospect are you most excited for the Bengals to get an up close look on? The Bengals are getting started with coaching for the Senior Bowl, which will be played on Saturday, Jan. 25th. Cincinnati will be coaching the South team, and there are quite a few interesting names to look out for on the South team that could end up in Cincinnati following the draft. Here is the official list for players on the South team from the Senior Bowl. The first place many fans will look at is the linebackers and offensive line. Auburn offensive tackle Prince Tega Wanogho highlights the group. He is a big tackle at 6’7 and 305 pounds, but unfortunately he was flagged with an injury (knee swelling). It is still a great opportunity for Cincinnati to get in his head as a raw prospect to find out how much room he still has to grow. Ironically, it is two Louisiana State University offensive linemen who could be the most intriguing for the Bengals. Lloyd Cushenberry played center, and he was great in the middle of that line for LSU last season. Damien Lewis played right guard the past two seasons for LSU, and he has the makings to be a quality depth player at the very least. There are some issues with length, but both were vital pieces to LSU winning the Joe Moore award for the best offensive line. As far as linebackers go, Akeem Davis-Gaither from Appalachian State may be the most intriguing guy for the Bengal to get to see up close. Since Davis-Gaither played at a school like Appalachian State, he didn’t get to regularly get to go up against bigger name talent. This is a rare chance to have him face guys he will be playing every week in the NFL. The early reports on him is that he looks more like a safety, but in today’s NFL teams need more players who are able to play linebacker with speed. Size is sometimes sacrificed in that equation, but Davis Gaither still has time to fix that. A prospect that is interesting outside of the obvious needs fans feel the Bengals have includes Brandon Aiyuk, wide receiver out of Arizona State. Wide receiver is a position no one should be shocked that Cincinnati possibly dips into at some point in this draft. Outside of Tyler Boyd and Alex Erickson, the Bengals don’t have any receivers locked up for a significant amount of time. They may need to draft a guy that can get a year under his belt if they’re forced to franchise tag A.J. Green or John Ross doesn’t take a step forward with a new quarterback. Aiyuk is a very intriguing prospect with a ton of upside. He has to clean up certain aspects of his game like dealing with press coverage, but he has that dynamic homerun factor the Bengals have been lacking. The Senior Bowl is always a valuable opportunity for any NFL team. The Bengals having one of the smallest scouting departments in the NFL will have to make the most of their opportunity to even just get to talk to these guys and pick their brains. It won’t be surprising when they draft a couple players who attended the Senior Bowl this week.
Bengals News (1/22): Most improvedby PatrickJudis on January 22, 2020 at 2:00 pm
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images Who were some of the most improved Bengals from 2019? Quick Hits: New Bengals cornerbacks coach Steve Jackson looks to help the cornerbacks play more physical.Rams linebacker Mike Jones famously made the stop on Tennessee wide receiver Kevin Dyson on the 1 at the gun in Atlanta, but Jackson's second career was just beginning. Joe Burrow's teammates at the Senior Bowl give their former quarterback the highest votes of confidence heading into the draft.The Bengals coaches, leading Ferguson's South team into Saturday's all-star game (2:30 p.m.-NFL Network), have been all over Ferguson, right? What is LSU quarterback Joe Burrow really like, right? How does Superman put on his cape and if he was a plant what plant would he be and all that psychological scouting combine 101 jazz, right? Bengals exec on Andy Dalton: 'He's certainly not done'Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on the latest RapSheet + Friends podcast the team has yet to make a decision on Dalton, who is still under contract for another year. But it sounds like Dalton will be the first to know if/when the Bengals commit to selecting a quarterback with the first pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. Bengals: 3 players who improved the most throughout 2019The Cincinnati Bengals finished with the worst record in the league in 2019. They were 2-14 after picking up a Week 17 win over a divisional opponent in the Cleveland Browns. This earned them the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, presumably where they can land their franchise quarterback in Joe Burrow. Bengals “certainly plan” to have A.J. Green next seasonTaylor spoke to the media from the Senior Bowl on Tuesday and addressed the team’s thoughts about bringing Green back for a 10th season with the team. Taylor made it clear that the team expects to have him on hand when players get back to work. Former Bengals star Chad Johnson skips his tryout to be an XFL kicker, per reportJohnson was supposed to be evaluated alongside a number of other prospective players Monday during the close of the revived XFL's first training camp in Houston. But the ex-Cincinnati Bengals star informed the league on Sunday, Seifert reported, that he'd changed his mind and decided against participating. After tweeting that he would give the XFL a go prior to the scheduled workout, Johnson has yet to publicly comment on his reverse of course. 2020 NFL Draft Rumors: Joe Burrow Coveted by Dolphins Amid Bengals Buzz"Specifically, the guy who signs the checks—owner Stephen Ross—is the one who wants Burrow," Florio added. "It's unknown at this point whether coach Brian Flores and/or GM Chris Grier agree." Around the league Daniel Jeremiah 2020 NFL mock draft 1.0: Four QBs in top 15The NFL has released the list of underclassmen that have been granted early entry to the 2020 NFL Draft, ushering in the official start to Mock Draft season! With 93 days until Round 1 kicks off in Las Vegas, here's my first look at how the first 32 picks of the 2020 draft class could play out. Case Keenum: It's Haskins' 'team moving forward'With losses mounting in 2019, Keenum's grasp on the starting reins lasted a bit longer than many thought it would with the logical thinking being why not give Haskins an opportunity to find himself in a lost season. However, when Haskins finally did get an opportunity to play, he struggled mightily. In Weeks 15-16, though, Haskins suddenly looked like a different player and flashed the promise of a future franchise QB. His season concluded early due to an ankle injury, but he completed 31-of-43 passes for 394 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions over those games. Joe Namath 'can't imagine' Tom Brady leaving Patriots"It's almost beyond my belief that he would go to another team under any circumstances," said Namath, via ESPN's Rich Cimini. "I can't imagine that separation. Moving out of the New England area that he's been so accustomed to, and his family, that's a hard thing, too. I don't think he'll ever leave that totally behind, I really don't." Titans' A.J. Brown after season's end: 'We want more'"I fell short of my goals, but that's the good thing about it," Brown said, via the team website's Jim Wyatt. "I am blessed to be able to come back next year and try again and set higher goals. I am going to set higher goals and go to work.
Senior Bowl Tuesday practice notesby John Sheeran on January 22, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports Following Zac Taylor’s press conference to kick off media day, the first practice of the Senior Bowl showcased plenty of great players doing what they do best. A sunny but cold day in Mobile, Alabama began with Cincinnati Bengals’ head coach Zac Taylor sitting down before all eyes and ears and kicking off the week of the Senior Bowl. A few minutes later, he stood up and talked some more to a handful of professionals and a doofus that helps manage this website. For Taylor to go from putting together a staff behind the scenes during the NFL playoffs last season to having a full group of coaches all together coaching the top seniors in the country is quite the turnaround. In his exact place last season was Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers, who has gone from coaching the South roster in the 2019 Senior Bowl to now game-planning for Super Bowl LIV. The NFL is engineered for quick turnarounds of all kinds, and opportunities like this can help springboard the craziest of them into action. As the coach of the South roster, Taylor has the two biggest names of the game to work with for the next handful of days. Quarterbacks Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts are drawing all the buzz leftover from Joe Burrow’s declined invitation, but Taylor, being a former quarterbacks and wide receivers coach, knows the expectations for even the most talented passers working with new receivers on such a short notice. “It is hard.” Taylor said. “And in one week to say that they’re going to formulate much chemistry...you know the quarterback might be throwing just a couple balls to all six or seven receivers...so there’s no expectation to formulate great chemistry. It’s just execute it to the best of your abilities, doing what we’re asking you to do so we can be on the same page.” Keeping players in their comfort zone is imperative for Taylor and his coaches, but the opportunity to see how they manage tasks suited for Cincinnati’s scheme and general NFL concepts is also one that he wanted to capitalize on. “I think that’s the benefit of these all-star games...you take them out of there comfort zone of the things that they did for four years in college and do we do and (what) a lot of the league does and see how quickly those guys can process that information and play with confidence.” The South’s first practice featured plenty of top talent putting their names on the radar. Wide receiver K.J. Hill started the day measuring in with mere 29” arms, but that mattered little on the practice field. The former Ohio State Buckeye showed his exceptional quickness and route running ability. In a Senior Bowl that is weak in receivers, especially compared to the class in total, Hill definitely stood out in a positive light. Jonathan Greenard, who transferred from Louisville to Florida, also had a great practice after a great weigh-in. Grennard had a great final year for the Gators as an edge rusher, but he was being used at linebacker and occasionally at 3-technique during one-on-one drills. While he should probably be rushing the passer most of the time, the Bengals’ coaching staff is using him all over since he can clearly handle it all. Grennard’s teammate at Florida, Jabari Zuniga, also flashed brilliance coming off the edge in one-on-ones. His quick hands and hips got him winning around the edge from both the right and left side. This was impressive considering the tackles of the South had great days as well. St. John’s Ben Bartch and Texas Tech’s Terence Steele both looked incredibly fluid with confident and strong hand usage. Plenty of times Bartch was tested with inside counters and he never faltered. Steele was praised a couple times by Bengals’ offensive line coach Jim Turner. Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw is already a player who won’t be around when the Bengals pick in the second round. With two more days like today, the South Carolina product may not make it out of the first 16 picks. Kinlaw was great on the podium; answering questions well and being very personable. At the weigh in he measured in absolutely humongous, and then at practice he was the most dominant defensive lineman in the one-on-one drills, winning with speed, power, and technique. There are two more practices to watch, and much more to learn about each roster. The South will go after the North for the next two practices, and more and more will be implemented into the practices.