Found May 10, 2014 on Fox Sports Ohio:
CINCINNATI -- The reality of the NFL is that teams can't always keep all the players they want. The economics of the league's salary cap don't allow for it, instead forcing teams to constantly overturn rosters with a greater mixture of youth to its veteran core. Case in point when the Bengals lost defensive end Michael Johnson to Tampa Bay in free agency this offseason. It was inevitable. It was something the Bengals had been planning for after paying Johnson more than $11 million last season as their franchise player. It's why they chose Margus Hunt last year in the second round. It's why they took West Virginia defensive end Will Clarke in the third round Friday night. Clarke physically resembles Johnson, and a lot of the other Bengals defensive ends; he's tall (6-feet-6) and has a long arm reach. The defensive line for the Bengals has been the foundation of the overall unit's success the last six years under former defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. That's not going to change under new coordinator Paul Guenther. The defensive line accounted for 29½ of the 43 sacks the Cincinnati defense produced last season. The Bengals coaching staff also credited its defenders with 118 total pass breakups (official NFL stats gave the Bengals 96 breakups, tied with Philadelphia for the fifth most in the league). Defensive backs in coverage will get the majority of those breakups but the defensive line knocked down 25 passes, including 10 by Carlos Dunlap and nine by Johnson. "When you're disrupting the ball at this level, you couldn't ask for more," said Guenther. "There's been a lot of situations last year in our season where there might have been a guy wide open and one of our ends batted a ball down and it saved our butt. So having long guys like that, especially against little quarterbacks in our division now, we need guys to get their hands up in the air." Guenther's comment about "little quarterbacks" was said with a laugh and, he later clarified, meant as a comical poke at newly drafted Cleveland quarterback Johnny Manziel but he and defensive line coach Jay Hayes are serious about the different kinds of pressure they want to get from their ends. In the Bengals' 27-10 playoff loss to San Diego this past January, they didn't record a single pass deflection against Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and sacked him just one time. The Bengals also chose Johnson in the third round in 2009. He was considered a developmental project at the time, a player with the skill set to become a dominant defensive end but someone still raw. Johnson developed into an every-down player who ended his five seasons in Cincinnati with 26½ sacks and 27 pass breakups, including three interceptions. "I think there are some comparisons, but let's compare him (Clarke) in two or three seasons," said head coach Marvin Lewis. "Michael grew into that and did a nice job here, which is what we want. We want to continue to grow great players and we've been fortunate enough to do that with the guys we've had." Follow on Twitter FSOhio_KGoheen

Grading the Cincinnati Bengals second round pick, Jeremy Hill

With their second overall draft choice, the Cincinnati Bengals elect to go offense. Surprising, to some,  Marvin Lewis and the Bengals selected LSU running back Jeremy Hill. Selection Grade: A Hill gives Cincinnati’s offense, a more explosive, Benjarvus Green-Ellis. The 235 pound running back gained just over 1400 yards, during his sophomore season at Louisiana State University...

Cincinnati Bengals named one of the biggest winners from night one of the NFL Draft

After all of the wheeling and dealing, surprising picks and green-room drama, the first round of the NFL Draft finally came to a close last night around midnight in New York City. And when the dust settled, providing a clear picture of what transpired across 32 selections, it was apparent that some teams had a better night than others. To see the five biggest winners from day one...

National Rewind: Did the Cincinnati Bengals draft any of the 10 biggest gems or busts?

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Bengals sign 6 undrafted free agents

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Cincinnati Bengals’ select Will Clark, 88th overall

Late Friday night,  the Cincinnatii Bengals used their third round pick to upgrade their defensive line. After losing last year’s starting DE Michael Johnson (56 tackles and 4 sacks)  to free agency,  the Bengals had to bring in a good replacement. West Virginia DE Will Clark could he the answer. Selected with Cincinnati’s third pick in the draft,  the 6’6 pass rusher registered...

Cincinnati Bengals: Evaluating the draft through round five

A nasty defense just got that much nastier on Thursday, May 8th. When the Bengals selected cornerback Darqueze Dennard out of Michigan State in the first round and No. 24 overall, their pass defense received a huge upgrade. I was shocked to see Dennard still available that late in the first round, but thank god he was. After drafting Dre Kirkpatrick at No. 17 overall in the 2012...

Bengals draft A.J. McCarron

The Cincinnati Bengals have drafted former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron in the fifth round of this year’s draft. With Andy Dalton in the final year of his contract, McCarron will have to prove that he can be an NFL starter if he wants to take his job. The chances are that Dalton gets an extension and McCarron doesn’t end up being a good NFL starter. var ACE_AR = {Site...

2014 NFL Draft First Round Grades: Cincinnati Bengals

24th Overall Pick: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St.The Bengals really needed another cornerback, and Dennard fell right into their lap. He could have got 10+ picks earlier than this, so this is excellent value and one of the biggest positions of need for Cincinnati. He should be able to step in and start day one. This is amazing value and one of the best picks of the first round...

Bengals unexciting but efficient with draft class

CINCINNATI -- Marvin Lewis last week compared his excitement level each year during the NFL Draft to "watching paint dry." Life isn't supposed to be so stressful if you're prepared for what you're doing. The Bengals used to be easy pickings for draft analysts looking to criticize a team. Those days are long gone as the franchise has melded its old ways of depending...

The heat is off of Andy Dalton

Mike Brown likes leverage almost as much as he likes quarterbacks. Or maybe it's the other way around. For that reason, you guessed the Bengals might help themselves to a QB during Friday night's portion of the never-ending NFL draft. They didn't. (For next year, the league is pondering adding a fourth draft day, and pushing the whole thing back to near the end of May...

AJ McCarron reportedly rubbed teams the wrong way in interviews

Despite his claims that he would go in the first round of the NFL Draft, former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron was not selected until the fifth round by the Cincinnati Bengals. Some of McCarron’s behavior over the past few months may have something to do with that. According to Pro Football Talk, ESPN’s Adam Schefter […]

Will the Bengals go QB in round two?

Words mean little in the NFL offseason. How teams truly feel about personnel is rarely deciphered through comments from a coach, player or even the front office. Truth lies only in action. For the most important question surrounding the Bengals offseason, the truth will be revealed Friday night. How big of an insurance policy are the Bengals willing to take out on Andy Dalton?...

Top 5 Draft outfits of the new millenium

Over the years, we have seen many draftees show up in noticeable outfits. There has been swag, and there has been laughs. Check out the list of the 5 worst wardrobes of the time, here. Click Here to see 5 facts about the Cincinnati Bengals’ 2014 first round draft selection, Darqueze Dennard. You may also be interested in:Top 5 Draft outfits of the new milleniumFive facts about...

Bengals a "landing spot" for Pittsburgh QB Tom Savage?

The Cincinnati Bengals are expected to grab a quarterback at some point this weekend. Mad-crazy rumor for the second round has already begun. If the Cincinnati Bengals go for a quarterback on Friday, there's a chance that the name called at the podium will be Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage. There's no concrete indication/information; mostly idle speculation. A

AJ McCarron falls to round 5, best of #BeforeMcCarronIsDrafted

So I guess AJ McCarron made a really poor impression on NFL scouts and front office people. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that AJ McCarron, who quarterbacked Alabama to a pair of national titles, rubbed teams “the wrong way” when he met with them heading into the draft. It’s not the first time that we’ve heard things along these lines about AJ McCarron. NBC’s Pro Football...
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