- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
Here is a look at key position battles for the Bengals:
Safety: Marvin White vs. Chinedum Ndukwe
There was a reason the Cincinnati Bengals felt comfortable letting Madieu Williams sign with the Minnesota Vikings this offseason. Cincinnati should have a nice battle with two up-and-coming second-year players in Marvin White and Chinedum Ndukwe, who were selected in the fourth and seventh round in 2007, respectively. Both started during the final month of the season and played well. Former Super Bowl MVP Dexter Jackson will start at strong safety.
Intensity index: Hot
Right tackle: Willie Anderson vs. Stacy Andrews
What's interesting is this hasn't been labeled as a competition by Cincinnati's coaching staff, but it kind of is. Former Pro Bowler and longtime right tackle Willie Anderson has played hurt or missed games for the better part of three years, and he will have to prove that he's healthy enough (he's obviously good enough) to hold the job this year. If not, the Bengals have a much younger, more athletic Stacy Andrews waiting to take Anderson's place. Is that considered a competition? I'm not sure. But the team will find a place in the lineup for Andrews eventually. He signed a one-year franchise tag and is expected to get a long-term extension after the season.
Intensity index: Mild
(A bonus honorable mention for Bengals fans!)
No. 3 receiver
The race to replace Chris Henry has been lukewarm so far, and the Bengals are hoping things heat up in training camp. The third receiver is important in Cincinnati's offense because of all the attention drawn by Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Rookies Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell didn't overwhelm in minicamp but that's expected in their first taste of the NFL. Glen Holt and Antonio Chatman aren't considered long-term solutions but look out for Marcus Maxwell, who did have a good spring and could be a sleeper.
Intensity index: Mild, but expected to heat up soon.