Drilling in: Offense

© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals Offensive unit analysis

QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Andy Dalton. Backups -- Matt Barkley, Jeff Driskel, Logan Woodside.

Dalton enters his seventh season and has been very durable missing only three games. Dalton is hoping to lead the Bengals to a significantly more productive season while playing behind a reformed offensive line, which was among the league's worst units in the last two seasons.

RUNNING BACKS: Starter - Joe Mixon Backups - Giovani Bernard, Tra Carson, Clinton Flowers, Ryan Hewitt, Brian Hill, Ray Lawry, Mark Walton.

Cincinnati's run game ranked 31st with 2,046 yards and 28th with 13 touchdowns. Mixon led the Bengals with 626 rushing yards while starting seven games and he's the main option after Jeremy Hill joined the New England Patriots. A healthy Bernard would help as well. Bernard played in every game last season after suffering an ACL injury late in 2016. Bernard did not appear 100 percent and recorded 458 yards, but enters camp fully healthy.

TIGHT ENDS: Starter -- Tyler Eifert. Backups -- Tyler Kroft, Moritz Boehringer, Cethan Carter, Jordan Franks, Mason Schreck, C.J. Uzomah.

Eifert was a Pro Bowler in 2015 after catching 13 touchdowns, but injuries limited him to 10 games in the last two seasons and he has missed 40 games in his career. Cincinnati brought him back on a one-year deal, but Eifert is less than 100 percent while coping with a balky back. The good news for the Bengals is Kroft did not disappoint last season by totaling 42 receptions for 404 yards and seven touchdowns. The seven TDs were sixth among tight ends and his 42 catches ranked him 21st at the position.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters - A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Brandon LaFell. Backups - John Ross, Cody Core, Alex Erickson, Josh Malone, Auden Tate, Ka'Raun White, Kermit Whitfield.

Green remains effective after totaling over 1,000 yards for the sixth time in seven seasons. He turns 30 during training camp and while others get big contracts, he is focused on rebounding from an inconsistent season. There were uncharacteristic drops, the fight with Jacksonville's Jalen Ramsey and it is up to new receivers coach Bob Bicknell to bring him back to normal and possibly get him to be an All-Pro for the first time in his career. "He has to be better at deep balls," head coach Marvin Lewis said. "We weren't good enough. Got to be better. Got to be better. Got to be better releasing off the football. We've got to coach him better. We have to throw and catch it better. I think we threw it to him enough. I think we have to create opportunity, but he was the best in the National Football League. Last year we weren't." The numbers don't lie concerning Dalton's long passes. Green tied for the fewest receptions of at least 25 yards in his career by hauling in only six. LaFell's spot could be in play if someone steps up and the Bengals hope former ninth overall pick John Ross is more productive after failing to record a catch last season.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters - LT Cordy Glenn, LG Clint Boling, C Billy Price, RG Trey Hopkins, RT Jake Fisher. Backups -- Cedric Ogbuehi, Austin Fleer, Bobby Hart, T.J. Johnson, Javarius Leamon, Brad Lundblade, Justin Murray, Kent Perkins, Alex Redmond, Rod Taylor, Christian Westerman.

This unit is among the reasons for Cincinnati's stark decrease offensively. The group has allowed 80 sacks in the last two seasons, resulting in bottom-10 finishes in various major offensive categories. The Bengals hope those things can be remedied by acquiring Cordy Glenn from Buffalo and using their first-round pick on Billy Price.

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