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Cincinnati Bengals 2014 Training Camp Preview

By John McMullen, NFL Editor

(SportsNetwork.com) -

REPORT DATE: July 21 (rookies), July 23 (veterans)

SITE: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH

CAMP CONFIDENTIAL: It's all about taking the next step in Cincinnati.

The Bengals have made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history but the architect of that run, quarterback Andy Dalton, has not performed well in January and Cincinnati has yet to advance, leaving more than a few to question whether Dalton can get the franchise to the next level.

It doesn't get any easier in 2014 because the Bengals lost both of their highly-regarded coordinators to head coaching positions -- (defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer to Minnesota and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden to Washington).

KEY OFFENSIVE ACQUISITION: New offensive coordinator Hue Jackson wants to develop a bit more balance between run and pass this year and second-round pick Jeremy Hill is expected to complement the team's second-round pick from a year ago, Giovani Bernard, in the team's backfield.

Hill, a big, bruising back with a bit of wiggle and solid speed, is expected to be the thunder to Bernard's lightning and brings much more big-play capability to the table than veteran BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

KEY DEFENSIVE ACQUISITION: Leon Hall is coming off a torn Achilles and Terence Newman is 35 so it was imperative for the Bengals to address the cornerback position and they did exactly that by drafting former Michigan State star Darqueze Dennard in the first round.

Dennard is a prototypical man-coverage corner who likes to get physical at the line of scrimmage. He's so physical in fact that he may take his lumps with pass interference calls early on but once Dennard figures things out and starts earning a reputation, he should provide quite an upgrade for first- year defensive coordinator Paul Guenther.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE (All Times Eastern):

Aug 7 - at Kansas City, 8:00 PM Aug 16 - vs. NY Jets, 7:00 PM Aug 24 - at Arizona, 8:00 PM Aug 28 - vs. Indianapolis, 7:00 PM

07/17 15:07:23 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 10
NOS 28
Final
ORL 98
WAS 105
Final
MIN 97
DET 91
Final
CLE 90
NYK 95
Final
DAL 120
UTA 102
Final
LAC 93
OKC 90
7:00pm Tonight
IND
MEM
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
CLE
 
8:30pm Tonight
MIL
PHI
 
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
POR
 
10:00pm Tonight
PHO
SAN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
LAC
 
Final
LOU 31
FSU 42
Final
GASO 42
TROY 10
8:00pm Tonight
TULA
CIN
8:02pm Tonight
MEM
TULSA
Final
BUF 2
BOS 3
Final
PIT 3
LOS 0
Final
NJD 2
WIN 1
Final
FLA 2
ARI 1
Final
OTT 4
CHI 5
Final
TAM 4
PHI 3
Final
STL 2
ANA 0
Final
MIN 4
SJS 3
Final
COL 5
NYI 0
Final
VAN 3
MON 2
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
LOS
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
NAS
 
Final
CAR 10
NOS 28