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Slants and screens: Chad, CD, Willie on prelim Hall ballot; Dalton on tips; Eagles pluck Elliott

Posted Sep 12, 2017

Corey Dillon makes Pro Football Hall of Fame prelim ballot.

The Bengals’ all-time leading rusher and receiver as well as their all-time right tackle are among the 108 Modern-Era nominees for this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced Tuesday.

Chad Johnson is on a wide receiver’s list that includes last year’s finalists Terrell Owens and Isaac Bruce as well as first-year candidate Randy Moss. Corey Dillon has the third most yards of the 10 running backs with 11,241, behind only Edgerrin James  (12,246) and Fred Taylor (11,695). Dillon and James are the only ones on the list with at least 11,000 yards and a Super Bowl ring. Willie Anderson is one of 21 offensive linemen but just six tackles. Tony Boselli and Joe Jacoby are returning tackle finalists and left tackle Richmond Webb played his final two seasons opposite Anderson with the Bengals in 2001-02.

Moss and Ray Lewis head the first-time candidates, as well as defensive tackle Richard Seymour, linebacker Brian Urlacher, and guard Steve Hutchinson. The list is reduced to 25 semifinalists in November, 15 finalists in January, and the class is chosen the day before the Super Bowl.

MECHANICALLY SPEAKING: The Ravens had more tips than a weekend bartender Sunday and two resulted in two of Andy Dalton’s four interceptions. But the Bengals and Dalton are confident they’re a product of Baltimore’s scheme rather than his mechanics.

“Not even a question. Andy has rock-solid mechanics,” said quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor Tuesday.

Dalton knows his arm angle isn’t always the same, but he says that’s not what leads to tips.

“You throw how you throw,” Dalton said. “There are different times you can try and change your arm angle to go around people, but it’s usually on stuff coming out of the backfield. It’s not stuff down the field. Or a check-down (pass).

“There was one time on Sunday I pumped and then moved and didn’t throw  a check-down because they jumped up. You just have to understand and try to find windows on some of those, but other than that, you can’t worry about your am angle. You just have to trust it and throw how you throw it.”

Lazor says there was no common thread with the three tips. One was by a leaping linebacker downfield for the first interception, one pass bounced off Terrell Suggs’ helmet at the line of scrimmage as Dalton unloaded quickly against a corner blitz, and another got tipped when Dalton tried to pull back a pass and it slipped out of his hand.

“When you’re an NFL quarterback your reality is you operate in a pocket that’s moving and sometimes has big windows and sometimes has small windows that you throw from,” Lazor said. “That’s your life. Some days when you think you can get it through there, a hand crawls up and it doesn’t quite get through.  If you look at any three-game stretch where a quarterback throws 100 balls, a whole bunch of them just barely get through. A couple in this game didn’t get through.”

MOVES: With cornerback Adam Jones headed back to the roster, the Bengals on Tuesday waived defensive tackle Christian Ringo a week after they claimed him from Green Bay. There’s an opening on the practice squad now that the Eagles have signed rookie kicker Jake Elliott.

Elliott, the fifth-rounder who lost the training camp battle with Randy Bullock, goes to Philly to replace Caleb Sturgis, out with a torn  hip flexor sustained Sunday in Washington. Sturgis is on injured reserve, but the Eagles could decide they want to bring him back later this year.

 

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