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Three things we learned at combine: Bengals

2/20/2015

INDIANAPOLIS -- Observed and heard at the NFL combine Friday:

1. Dupree on Bengals list: Among the several needs the Cincinnati Bengals have this offseason, shoring up their pass rush ranks atop the list. While it seems the growing belief is that they may use free agency in order to address that concern, there is also a chance they could ultimately be sold on drafting a prospect who could be groomed into their system. One possible drafted lineman is Kentucky product Alvin "Bud" Dupree. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound player listed as a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker told ESPN.com Friday that he had an interview set up with Cincinnati. Dupree also said he felt comfortable playing on the line as a rush end if the team that drafted him wanted him to do exclusively that.

2. Spot for Newman? Is there a place for veteran cornerback Terence Newman on the Bengals' roster? Suddenly, that's become a question Cincinnati has to answer. Head coach Marvin Lewis told reporters at the combine Thursday that the 36-year-old Newman had informed him he wanted to return for another season. Previously, Newman had said he would be mulling retirement since he's entering free agency this offseason. Since the Bengals appear set at corner with Darqueze Dennard and Dre Kirkpatrick coming off strong 2014 campaigns, it doesn't appear there will be a place for Newman on the roster. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said Friday that the coaches haven't yet made any determination on whether they'll have Newman back next. "We haven't really discussed that," Guenther said. "He's a great role model for the younger players, and he played pretty damn good last year, until the end of the year when he kind of wore down a little bit. But he gives you everything he's got. If he were on our team, that would be great."

3. More man-to-man coming? One of the areas Guenther wants to address defensively next season is the way his cornerbacks play in coverage. He felt the defense got away from the strict man-to-man setup that he knows his cornerbacks can employ. Specifically, he believes he needs to do it because he has trust that Kirkpatrick and Dennard, two first-round corners drafted in the last four years, can do it. "If you draft corners that high and take them, that's one of the reasons why you do it."