As yours truly begins taking over the Bengals blog, we're going to make a couple of modifications to its set-up. They'll start with this: From now on, we're going to call our daily links package the "Morning stripes." The Bengals have to earn their stripes, and you fans do, too. In order to get all caught up on the news of the day out of Paul Brown Stadium, you'll have to stop here and click on the links below.
With all of that said, away we go with our first batch of stripes:
The Bengals didn't practice Tuesday, but according to a National Football Post report, a pair of hopeful linebackers did work out for them. Citing a league source, Aaron Wilson reported early Wednesday morning that former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Tyrone McKenzie and veteran linebacker Thomas Howard were given auditions on the off day. McKenzie was a 2009 third-rounder who played at South Florida. Howard is a 30-year-old who tore his ACL while with the Bengals last season, but who had 120 tackles for them the year before. Either could help shore up depth after Cincinnati lost linebacker Emmanuel Lemur to a season-ending injury during last week's preseason finale.
If McKenzie or Howard are added to Cincinnati's 53-man roster Wednesday, they wouldn't be the only ones. Geoff Hobson reported on the team website that another, more certain move is expected to come before the 1 p.m. practice. With left offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth still trying to bounce back from offseason knee surgery, and right tackle Andre Smith overcoming his own knee injury, the Bengals likely will turn to backup right tackle Dennis Roland. He is expected to take receiver Andrew Hawkins' spot, when Hawkins (ankle) gets placed on injured reserve recall for half the season.
Multiple reports, including Hobson's, have said former seventh-round pick Greg McElroy could be signed to Cincinnati's practice squad Wednesday. The 2011 selection out of Alabama spent the past two years with the Jets. He was released over the weekend.
If you're going to a Bengals game at the beginning of the season, expect to be surrounded by more than 65,000 of your closest friends, the Cincinnati Business Courier says. After a conversation with Bengals manager of ticket sales, Andrew Brown, the Courier reported that the first three games at Paul Brown Stadium appeared headed toward sellout status. The home season opens Sept. 16 against Pittsburgh.
The final episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks" aired Tuesday night (did you watch?), and the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy expertly detailed the show's happenings. From the heartbreak of being cut from the team, to the sheer exuberance of making it (see: linebacker Jayson DiManche's call to "Mommie" and reactions from fullbacks Orson Charles and John Conner to news that Charles had made the cut and Conner did not), Reedy described it.