Found July 16, 2012 on Fox Sports Ohio:
Our series of Cincinnati Bengals training camp previews starts with a look at the offensive backfield; At this time last year, Andy Dalton was an unknown commodity, Carson Palmer was insisting he was home in California for good and Cedric Benson was a free agent awaiting the end of the NFL lockout and a call to go work for some team. A lot has changed totally. Some things have changed indirectly. The Bengals are now Dalton's team, and expectations for his second year in offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's offense are high. Benson is again a free agent, but he and the Bengals appear to have parted ways for good. The Bengals have signed BenJarvus Green-Ellis after a successful run in New England and will have him both compete for and share carries with Bernard Scott. Replacing Benson's 273 carries and 1,067 yards from last season won't be easy, but the Bengals envision Green-Ellis and Scott forming an inside-out combo. Dalton's experience combined with what the team hopes will be a natural progression and increased comfort level with the offense should have the passing game ready to take a leap. Just how much of a leap? We'll see. A further breakdown of the quarterback and running back positions is below... ROLE PLAYING: There's no uncertainty this year. Dalton is the quarterback, and Bruce Gradkowski is the kind of low-key, experienced veteran plenty of teams wish they had as a backup. Exactly how the running backs are used probably depends on the situation, but there's little doubt Scott should feel a sense of urgency in his fourth NFL training camp to prove he's ready to take on the biggest workload of his career. Brian Leonard probably enters camp as the third-down back but will have to earn his way and is one of several offensive veterans who can use camp as a chance to earn the trust of Dalton and Gruden. ON THE CLIMB: Dalton got the Bengals to the playoffs last season, made the Pro Bowl as an alternate and shocked just about everybody outside his own locker room with his relatively fearless and productive season. He completed 58 percent or better of his passes just once in his last nine games, though, and his toughest games came against some of the league's best defenses. The Bengals were 0-4 against the Steelers and Ravens, and this Bengals team isn't getting close to its ceiling until it can beat those teams. Look for Dalton to improve on his 20-13 TDINT ratio from last season. If his offensive line keeps him upright and a reliable third target behind A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham develops, a 3500-yard (or more) season is possible. SPLIT DUTIES: Nobody knows how things will work out at running back. The Bengals signed Green-Ellis from the Patriots and probably see him as a short-yardage, between-the-tackles guy. Scott got a career-high 112 carries last year and has speed and big-play ability, but he hasn't shown it consistently. Green-Ellis ran for 1,008 yards -- at an impressive 4.4 yards per carry -- in 2010 in New England. He ran for 667 yards at 3.7 per carry last season. He's been a red-zone touchdown machine and has never lost a fumble in his four-year NFL career, and the Bengals hope that can carry over. It's fair to assume that Green-Ellis might be the listed starter with Scott waiting as the change of pace guy, but with both preparing for new roles and Gruden presumably looking to expand the offense with so many pieces returning, there are carries to be won and impressions to be made once the pads come on starting July 27. CAMP BATTLES: Zac Robinson, a Bengals practice-squad player last year who's entering his third NFL camp, and strong-armed undrafted rookie Tyler Hansen are the other quarterbacks in camp. After the starters exit the early preseason games, look for Gradkowski to play only to stay sharp and for the Bengals to try to get a fair evaluation of both Robinson and Hansen. Chris Pressley, who started 10 games last year, is the lead returnee at fullback and will compete with young, developmental prospects Jourdan Brooks and James Develin. Besides Scott vs. Green-Ellis. vs. Leonard, sixth-round rookie Daniel "Boom" Herron and third-year back Cedric Peerman will also compete for a roster spot and potentially a backup running role. Peerman has the experience edge and Herron missed most of the spring work due to injury, but Herron's skill set fits the Bengals and he'll get a chance to prove he should stick. Is Leonard, who had just 39 touches (22 catches, 17 carries) last year, expendable? Probably not, but that could depend on Herron's progress and how well Green-Ellis and Scott are playing. Herron's experience last fall at Ohio State, when he was suspended for the first six games and ended up playing a variety of roles in practice with the scout team, should serve him well as he'll have to play special teams throughout the preseason to earn a roster spot. FINAL COUNT: It makes sense that the Bengals will keep two quarterbacks on the active roster, four running backs and one fullback. But with such depth at receiver and tight end and so much uncertainty in the secondary, those final few spots will be determined by need, health, versatility and special teams ability. The Bengals only keeping three running backs is certainly a possibility.

Top 25 NFL free agents of 2013

As NFL teams prepare for the start of the season they already have their eye on who could become available during the free agency period of 2013. While looking at the list of the top 25 free agents the Baltimore Ravens stand out with two top players on the list including quarterback Joe Flacco and Ed Reed. Here is a list of the top 25 NFL free agents of 2013. NFL teams have your...

Bengals position analysis - wide receivers

Our series of Cincinnati Bengals training camp previews continues with a look at the crowded wide receiver position; The secret is out: A.J. Green is really good. With 65 catches for 1,057 yards and 7 touchdowns in his rookie season, Green introduced himself to the AFC North and to the league as a whole as a player to watch for years to come. Opposing defenses are among the group...

45 Hottest Cincinnati Bengals Cheerleaders & Sexy Superfans

Today we tackle the Cincinnati Bengals cheerleaders & superfans. Like most of you, we are itching for football season to start. In the midst of the dog days of summer, many get sick of baseball and start turning their attention to football. Don’t blame you a bit. To help quench your thirst, BC is going on a 32 team, 32 day, 32 gallery tour of NFL cheerleaders & superfans...

Cincinnati Bengals: 3 Questions Heading into Training Camp

After a surprising season in which the Cincinnati Bengals shocked the league, appearing in the playoffs when many predicted them to be competing for the first overall draft selection, the Bengals are a confounding team to project in 2012. Granted, Andy Dalton and A.J. Green will continue to develop as a dynamic playmaking combination, but questions remain about Green’s supporting...

Packers And Raiders "checking in" on Cedric Benson?

There are some people who still seem to think that there's a slim chance that free agent running back Cedric Benson could land back with the Bengals as an insurance policy. We don't agree with that sentiment, and Benson doesn't seem to either as he said his "thank you's" to the Cincinnati faithful this offseason (via Geoff Hobson back in March). Since then...

Johnathan Joseph praises the Texans while taking a jab at the Bengals

Getty Images Houston Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph recently sat down with Barry Byers of The Herald and told him how different things are with the Texans then they were with the Bengals. “The first thing about Houston is it’s an organization run from a different perspective,” Joseph told Barry Byers of The Herald in a Sunday Q&A. “In Cincy, the team lives off...

Kyle Cook and total pressures allowed in the NFL

Pro Football Focus has been releasing their "3 Years of ..." articles in the past few weeks, and it's always interesting to see a Bengals name pop up here and there at the bottom or top of some list. Andrew Whitworth ranked the third best offensive tackle in the league in pass blocking effeciency. Defensive ends Michael Johnson and Robert Geathers ranked among the...

Top-20 Bengals Of 2012: No. 16 Center Kyle Cook

// ><!-- //--><! <![CDATA[// ><!-- //--><! <p> Kyle Cook offered stability when he was promoted as the team's starting center, replacing the departed (and depressingly ineffective) Eric Ghiaciuc in 2009. As a result Cook helped the Cincinnati Bengals become a top-ten rushing offense, which, along with a top-five defense, swept the division...

The Be Warned Stories Of The Week: A.J. Green Deserves The Top 5 Ranking

This is the second edition of my new Sunday column, where I talk about the most interesting/controversial stories of the week and put my spin on them. Last week, I defended against the criticisms on Andy Dalton's arm strength, talked about the big differences between BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Cedric Benson, and covered the in-game stadium experiences that the NFL is hoping...

Training camp preview: Bengals, Lions

To get you fully prepared for the unofficial start of the 2012 NFL season, we're ranking every team from worst to first in the weeks leading up to the opening of training camps. Every day, we'll be previewing two teams, one from each conference, analyzing them from top to bottom and giving you all you need to know to be an informed fan. What's the major storyline heading...

Shanahan, Street On Biletnikoff Watch List

Pitt has had two Biletnikoff Award winners in its history--Antonio Bryant in 2000 and Larry Fitzgerald in 2003.
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.