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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
MLB
Final
OAK 2
TEX 7
Final
PIT 3
BOS 2
Final
NYY 3
TOR 2
Final
MIA 2
WAS 6
Final
CHC 4
LOS 8
Final
HOU 1
CLE 2
Final
STL 3
MIL 2
Final
COL 7
ARI 6
Final
SDP 7
PHI 3
Final
ANA 1
SEA 3
2:20pm Today
CHC
LOS
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
BOS
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
TOR
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
7:35pm Tonight
ATL
NYM
 
8:10pm Tonight
COL
ARI
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
CLE
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
DET
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
SEA
 
8:15pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
9:35pm Tonight
OAK
PHI
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
TEX
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
 
Final
KST 14
AUB 20
8:00pm Tonight
SFLA
UCONN
Final
ATL 56
TAM 14