In a recent column, Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson broke down the team’s best storylines for training camp.
- The Bengals will have up to six new starters on defense, with Hobson highlighting CB Mike Hilton as a player that represents what they’re trying to do on defense, setting the edge, and amping up pressure.
- Bengals RB Joe Mixon believes he can rush for 1,000 yards again under new OC Frank Pollack, and is excited to get to work in his offense: “He’s an interesting man. I like his style. He gets after it. The thing about Frank is that no matter who is out there on the field, we’re going to run that little ball. He’s committed to the run.”
- Pollack will be adding his wide-zone run to the Bengals offense, which he believes adds “flexibility” to the unit: “It’s a stretch run that allows you to take advantage of the defense and makes them wrong. They can never be right if you are doing it the correct way. It’s something that really allows you to have more margin for error. The back can make the line or a linemen correct and vice versa. I think it adds a little more flexibility in that regard and it promotes the unit to play better.”
- Hobson notes that fifth-overall rookie WR Ja’Marr Chase and second-year QB Joe Burrow‘s connection is as good as advertised and they look like they haven’t missed a beat since their days together at LSU.
- Hobson points out that Burrow has looked “terrific” thus far, with his throws even crisper after fine-tuning his mechanics. Despite that, HC Zac Taylor may still opt to hold Burrow out of any preseason action, with no definitive decision made at this time.
- ESPN’s Jake Trotter points out the Browns added five players on defense who are expected to become starters, including S John Johnson, DE Jadeveon Clowney, LB Anthony Walker, CB Troy Hill, and DT Malik Jackson.
- Browns first-round CB Greg Newsome and second-round LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah could become starters sooner rather than later, per Trotter.
Ravens DE Calais Campbell expects big things from DT Justin Madubuike in 2021. When asked about Madubuike during recent media availability, Campbell raved about the second-year defensive tackle’s explosiveness from the interior.
“Yes, I think you should see a big jump. He really has so much potential. He’s strong, he’s quick-twitchy, can get out of a stance very explosively, and then he’s learning how to play with a good technique consistently. I think he’s going to have a big year for us. I think he’s a guy who we can really depend on. He’s going to make all of our jobs a lot easier [with] what he can do inside, and he’s developing as a pass rusher too, so I think he’s going to put a lot more pressure on quarterbacks. I think he’s going to be a really good player in this league,” Campbell said, via RavensWire.