The Bengals 2014 season was deja vu all over again. For the fourth straight year, Cincinnati made the playoffs, and for the fourth straight year, the team couldn't make it past its first game.
The blame for the Bengals' four straight playoff losses has fallen largely on the shoulders of quarterback Andy Dalton. The former second round draft pick has led Cincinnati to 40 wins in four seasons as a starter, but is 0-4 in the playoffs, with just one touchdown and six interceptions. Dalton signed a seven-year, $97.09 million contract extension last August, but the Bengals could exit the deal early with no penalty if Dalton's playoff performance doesn't improve.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has a 100-89-2 record since taking over in 2003, but he's also winless in the playoffs, losing all six times he's reached the postseason. Lewis signed a one-year extension earlier this offseason that takes him through 2016, but the team is not putting a long-term investment in the longest-tenured coach in franchise history.
The Bengals had a low-key offseason. Cincinnati drafted offensive tackles with each of its first two picks, signaling an insurance policy for aging veteran Andrew Whitworth and the inconsistent Andre Smith. The team's most notable free agent signing was defensive end Michael Johnson, who previously spent 2009 to 2013 in Cincinnati. He left for Tampa Bay last offseason, but was cut after a subpar season.
Bengals training camp schedule (all times ET):
Friday, July 31: 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 1: 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 2: 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Monday, August 3: 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, August 4: 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 6: 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Friday, August 7: 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 8: 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Paul Brown Stadium.
Monday, August 10: 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, August 11: 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Joint practice with New York Giants.
Wednesday, August 12: 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Joint practice with the New York Giants.
Monday, August 17: 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, August 19: 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 20: 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Tickets are not required for practice, and admission is free. Gates open 30 minutes before each practice, except for the Aug. 8 practice at Paul Brown Stadium, when gates open one hour before. The 90-minute practice time is an estimate and subject to change.
Bengals training camp will take place on the practice fields adjacent to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Aug. 8 practice will take place inside the stadium.