In Bengals news, OTAs are underway for the team rocking the black and orange stripes. Also, what does the AFC North look like this year?
The Cincinnati Bengals kicked off their OTAs (organized team activities) on Tuesday and it's the first step toward gearing up for the 2023 season. Something that caught the attention of Bengals fans was the fact that Jordan Battle took reps with the starting safeties.
The AFC North is going to be super competitive with this year and while the Bengals are favored to win the division for third straight season, it won't be an easy feat. The Ravens re-signed Lamar Jackson after an offseason filled with drama, the Browns added key players to help Deshaun Watson in his first full season at the helm, and the Steelers can never be counted out.
Check out what's trending in Bengals news.
Bengals OTAs observations: Lone 7-on-7 period offers brief teaser for mini-camp [Michael Niziolek, Cleveland.com]
"The first-team defense featured Pratt and Logan Wilson at linebacker, Jordan Battle and Dax Hill at safety, Hilton at nickel and Cam Taylor-Britt and Allan George at corner. Nick Scott was held out of the 7-on-7′s for precautionary reasons with him still coming back from a shoulder injury."- Michael Niziolek
It was a bit surprising to see Battle taking reps with the 1's, considering the Bengals signed Nick Scott to a lengthy contract. Scott was brought in to replace Vonn Bell, who shocked fans by signing with the Panthers instead of returning to Cincinnati. Months later, however, the Bengals drafted Battle in the third round and it looks like he has a strong chance of working his way into a starting role.
2023 AFC North race: Will Bengals or Ravens win division crown? Reasons why each team could prevail [Garrett Podell, CBS Sports]
"The Bengals' path to their third division title is pretty simple: protect Joe Burrow and proceed to profit. He's led the NFL in passer rating and ranked in the top three in nearly every other crucial passing metric since 2021 despite having one of the lowest graded offensive lines in the NFL. His line ranked 29th in Pro Football Focus' pass-blocking grade during their AFC Championship season in 2021, and the unit ranked second-to-last, 31st, in the entire league in 2022. "- Garrett Podell
While protecting Burrow is a key aspect for the 2023 season, staying healthy is a huge factor for the Bengals. The Ravens' disappointments over the past two years have been led by injuries, including to their star quarterback. If they can stay healthy but the Bengals can't, winning the division for a third straight time is not a lock.
NFL Free Agents With Biggest Upside Who Could Find Homes Before Training Camp [Alex Kay, Bleacher Report]
A few names in this bunch that could interest the Bengals down the line are Cameron Dantzler, Kareem Hunt, John Johnson III, and Yannick Ngakoue.