Bengals prep for opener with best of both worldsThe Bengals head into Sunday’s opener in Indy (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) tipping about as much balance as you can get with one of the NFL’s biggest spending teams matched with one of the league’s youngest rosters.Marvin Lewis News Conference Transcript 9/3“It’s exciting. It really is exciting to be at this point. When your past season finishes , it seems so far away. Then as you get through to when we started the offseason program, through the draft process and training camp, it really seems to fly by. It seems like a long time, those nine weeks (before the draft), five weeks in between (minicamp and training camp) and six weeks (of training camp). Those go by pretty fast. I am excited about where we are, and I’m excited about our preparation this week to play a game on Sunday and win. That’s what is exciting about it. They worked hard, and now we’re at the point where everything you do counts for real.”Quick hits: Green, Dalton carry the base; Mike goes from cut to captain, Lazor, Haslett on HackenbergThe Bengals have been the team of wide receiver A.J. Green and quarterback Andy Dalton pretty much since they arrived within 24 hours of each other in April of 2011. But their teammates made it official Monday when they voted Green and Dalton captains of the offense. They joined right end Michael Johnson and strong safety Shawn Williams on defense and linebacker Vincent Rey and free safety Clayton Fejedelem on special teams.Harris to IR; Hackenberg to PSOn Monday morning the Bengals officially announced the signing of former second-round pick Christian Hackenberg to the practice squad to serve as the No. 3 quarterback. They also sent rookie cornerback Davontae Harris (knee) to injured reserve to make room for Sunday’s re-signing of Michael Johnson. Harris is eligible to be re-called in mid-season.Paul Dehner Jr. predicts Cincinnati Bengals' seasonThe national narrative and overlooked nature of the Bengals makes sense. They did bring back their coach without a playoff win. They did retain their quarterback who lacks the “wow” factor that moves the needle. They did make their biggest offseason splashes in the trenches, where few pay attention.Bengals Notes: Mutual trust allowed team to release, re-sign Johnson; injury updateThe Bengals' decision to release veteran defensive end Michael Johnson on Saturday and re-sign him on Monday was a procedural one that allowed them to keep another player on the initial 53-man roster, and the only way it could happen was the matter of trust built up between the team and him.Bengals place fifth-round pick Davontae Harris on IRHe played 57 defensive snaps and 14 special teams snaps in the preseason opener against the Bears, tying for the team high with six tackles, including one for loss, and forcing a fumble.Random BytesUW left tackle Trey Adams expected to miss most of season with back injuryA preseason All-American, the 6-foot-8, 316-pound Adams missed the second half of the 2017 season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He had been on track to return from the knee surgery last month until the back injury surfaced early last week.The Biggest Winners and Losers from NFL PreseasonThe preseason could also have an adverse effect on a player’s professional outlook. Veterans can lose their roster spots, bringing uncertainty to their futures and, for some, signaling an end of a career. The Chicago Bears cut Victor Cruz after he appeared in all four exhibition contests last year. He never gained traction with another club and currently works for ESPN.Colin Kaepernick Named Face of Nike’s 30th Anniversary of ‘Just Do It’ CampaignNike selected former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face of its “Just Do It” campaign, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Darren Rovell of ESPN reported the choice of Kaepernick, who started the movement to kneel during the United States national anthem to protest racial injustice in August 2016LeSean McCoy Eligible for Bills’ Game vs. Ravens Amid Police InvestigationBuffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy remains available to play in the team’s Week 1 game Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens as police in Georgia investigate a July invasion at a home he owns that allegedly caused injuries to his ex-girlfriend. All hands were on deck in the Bengals monumental letdown at home against the Saints, including all eight rookies on the active roster. For the first time all season, the seven draft picks to make the initial 53-man roster were all active and played at least one snap from scrimmage, along with the one undrafted free agent to get promoted to the active roster this season. Here’s our rookie report for the Bengals 51-14 defeat to the Saints.Billy PriceEven without their first-round pick Marcus Davenport at defensive end Clayton Fejedelem Jersey , the Saints pass rush got the better of the Bengals offensive line in Price’s first game back. Fortunately for the Bengals’ first-round pick, he came away with a mostly clean game. The run blocking for Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard was solid, even though they rarely got a chance to display it after the first quarter when the game was still competitive. Those around Price, however, underperformed to their standards. Left tackle Cordy Glenn and left guard Clint Boling allowed several pressures against the right-sided Saints pass rushers, and even right guard Trey Hopkins looked out of whack in his first game at the position this season. The cohesion between the group needs some time to re-adjust with Price back in the mix and if that was the cause for the troubles, then so be it. Price showed some definite rust in between it all, but it was good to see him out there moving regardless. Jessie BatesPer usual, Bates ended up extremely active as a tackler for the Bengals porous defense. The Bengals’ free safety finished with just four solo tackles, but added on seven assisted tackles for a combined 11. In coverage, Bates was untested for the vast majority of the game, as Saints quarterback Drew Brees only threw four of his 25 passes beyond 15 yards down the field, and the three that were completed weren’t in Bates’ coverage.It turns out that playing Jameis Winston isn’t as easy as playing Brees — Hell, or Ryan Fitzpatrick for that matter. The Bengals secondary looks to have had major communication issues during this historically bad stretch they’re on. Hopefully things get more clear for them with Marvin Lewis taking over as the de facto defensive coordinator, and Bates’ play improves because of it. Sam HubbardAs expected, it was defensive end Jordan Willis who got the first crack at replacing Carl Lawson as the team’s nickel edge rusher opposite of Carlos Dunlap and not Hubbard. By my count, Hubbard didn’t even see any snaps inside; he played most of the snaps in relief of Michael Johnson at right defensive end. While there, Hubbard didn’t see many pass-rushing snaps, and the rest of the Bengals’ defensive line was run over by the Saints offensive line in both the run and pass.The needle didn’t move much at all for Hubbard in this game, as his role seems largely unaffected by Lawson’s season-ending injury.Malik JeffersonFor the first time in his nine-game career, Jefferson got to play defense instead of just special teams. The bad news was, his team was down by multiple scores when he came into the game in the fourth quarter. He ended up with notching three tackles in the eight snaps he was on the field for, all from starting at a different alignment at linebacker.Unless the Bengals are down by five scores late in the second half of another game soon, we can’t expect Jefferson to emerge as a serious candidate for playing time — Jordan Evans and Vincent Rey’s struggles be damned. Jefferson couldn’t even get into the game until it was clearly over, and it’s not an indictment on him necessarily. Jefferson got plenty of time on the kickoff return team though, so there’s that.Mark WaltonWith Giovani Bernard back into the fold Authentic John Ross Jersey , Walton was all but nonexistent in the Bengals offense. He saw two of the 43 snaps on offense in relief of Joe Mixon and Bernard, and both involved him blocking in some manner. This is likely the reality for Walton as long as both Mixon and Bernard are both healthy, which was a rarity leading up to this week. He did play the most special teams in one game as he’s played all year with eight, and we should expect him to play around that number for the remaining of the year if he’ll be sidelined all game on offense.Darius PhillipsLike Bates, Phillips was spared from Brees’ wrath, as he was only targeted once — which resulted in a three-yard gain. His play has evened out nicely the more he’s played, and for as long as Darqueze Dennard is nursing his shoulder injury, Phillips will continue to gain more in-game experience. Auden TateIt appears that the Bengals offense without A.J. Green does not feature much of Tate. The end of the game looked a lot like a preseason game, so naturally that’s when Tate entered the game. The Bengals second touchdown drive featured seven plays, with Tate aligned as the left wide receiver for most of them. He ran three routes, and received one target that went incomplete off of his hands.Some will call it a drop, some would call it a bad throw from backup quarterback Jeff Driskel (it was more so the latter). Regardless, it was a little disappointing to not see Tate out with the starters, but the team’s reluctance to give him any meaningful snaps was not surprising at all. Wide receiver Josh Malone’s hamstring injury is something to monitor this week, as his health will likely determine Tate’s game status with A.J. Green still sidelined with a bad foot.Jordan FranksJust like their Week 8 game against the Buccaneers, the Bengals trotted out Franks for one passing play against the Saints. Only this time, Franks was the target of the play. He once again stuck to special teams as Matt Lengel maintained his status as the No. 2 tight end. As soon as Tyler Kroft returns to practice, Franks figures to be sitting on the bench full-time. When that is, no one knows, but Franks won’t get any meaningful opportunities to stay on the field.The Bengals inactive list featured exclusively veterans, which allowed for all eight first-year players to dress and play on Sunday. Hopefully next week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens will feature a couple of those players that were inactive, which would likely take out a couple rookies from the dress list. Price will also be playing in just his fourth career game as we reached the middle of November, which will also be his second career meeting with the Ravens’ interior defensive line. The Ravens may also be starting a rookie of their own at quarterback in Lamar Jackson, which will be something Lewis’ young defense will be keeping tabs on all week as well.