Drafts shaping roster
In the wake of Saturday night’s half-full-half-empty pre-season 21-13 victory in Dallas, veteran safety George Iloka’s release in the hours after they returned looks to have significant impact on a roster that may make last year’s 53 look like an ancient ruin. Remember, with last season’s average of 25.45 years old on Opening Day, it was the youngest roster of head coach Marvin Lewis’ 15 seasons. But with his 16th season starting with the wackage of the 28-year-old Iloka and 31-year-old wide receiver Brandon LaFell, they’re looking at being a lot younger than that as they look to assert the last three drafts.
Iloka release sets stage for Bates
For the second time in two weeks the Bengals rocked their world Sunday when they released a veteran starter in the name of youth. First it was Brandon LaFell, 31, their most experienced wide receiver. Now it is their most seasoned defensive back, safety George Iloka, gone less than 12 hours after they returned from Saturday night’s 21-13 pre-season victory in Dallas in a move that indicates they’re elevating second-rounder Jessie Bates III. That can't be all that much of a surprise since head coach Marvin Lewis indicated a few days ago Bates could become a contributor sooner rather than later.
Depth gets Bengals a win
ARLINGTON, Texas _ Maybe the only thing you can truly judge in the NFL preseason is the depth of a roster and when the Bengals dominated the Cowboys during Saturday’s second half of a 21-13 victory, the 53-man Opening Day spread sheet seems to be teeming with speed and playmakers and potential. Start with rookie cornerback Darius Phillips’ 24-yard punt return that set up a field goal and his 44-yard kick return that set up a touchdown. And finish with No. 3 quarterback Jeff Driskel playing like a No. 2 by hitting 10 of 16 passes and finding seven different receivers on his way to 119 yards.
Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys - 8/18/18
Photos from the Cincinnati Bengals exhibition game against the Dallas Cowboys.