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Friday, February 7, 2014
Morning Stripes: Key Bengals questions

By Coley Harvey

There are several storylines that will follow the Cincinnati Bengals into spring workouts and training camp that will eventually need to be addressed.

For now, they are simply conversation starters. They're scenarios that arrange certain roster or schematic conditions in order to predict what might happen for the Bengals when the 2014 season officially begins.

An example: If defensive tackle Geno Atkins makes it to training camp without any issues in his ACL rehab, then the Bengals' front-seven rotation will be set. If that happens, it'll also be pretty good. By then, the Bengals will have either re-signed Michael Johnson or found a replacement for him at defensive end. And the rest of the line will have returned, looking to build off its success and growth that came in Atkins' absence late this past season. The D-line was gashed on occasion during the Bengals' playoff loss, but otherwise the line was pretty good without Atkins.

So with Atkins back, the unit has the potential to be markedly better and deeper this fall, because of the experience younger players like Brandon Thompson and Margus Hunt received as they helped fill Atkins' spot.

There are so many other hypothetical situations that can be debated -- and will -- this offseason.

As we unveil this short list of Friday's Morning Stripes, we begin with a posting that addresses five of those concerns: