Sports Today: Cincinnati Bengals defense showing signs of feistiness

  • Marcus Hartman
9:51 a.m. Monday, Aug. 7, 2017 Homepage
Contributing Writer
Wide receiver Brandon LaFell makes a catch defended by cornerback Adam Jones during the first day of Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp Friday, July 28 at the practice fields beside Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

You can tell summer is almost over by how much was going on over the weekend in the world of sports. 

Friday night, the Cincinnati Bengals defense got rave reviews. 

The pass rushers and the defensive backs were among the standouts, which of course is a double-edged sword when your own guys are working against each other. 

RELATED: Defense ramps it up

We have reason to believe protection could be a problem for the Bengals’ offense this season, but the team’s pass rush was also in need of an upgrade. 

We know the Bengals have a strong set of skill players on offense, so the young defenders being able to hang would seem mostly positive. 

On Saturday during an intra-squad scrimmage, rookies Joe Mixon and Josh Malone were among the standouts on offense. 

›› RELATED: Observations, stats from Bengals scrimmage

If the defense takes a step forward and the offense takes off with an influx of young talent (and the return of A.J. Green, Gio Bernard and Tyler Eifert), could special teams be the team’s Achilles heel

Hey, it’s still early... 

Good news for coach Anthony Grant as four-star guard Jeremiah Francis included the Dayton Flyers in his top 10 schools. 

A senior-to-be from Pickerington Central, Francis always looked like a major target for Ohio State and Indiana, but his recruitment has gone national with North Carolina, West Virginia, Florida State and TCU also joining the fray. 

RELATED: Top 2019 recruit puts Dayton in his top 10

Dayton is the only non-Power 5 school on the list, which signifies a few things: 

1. It will be an uphill battle to convince Francis to make UD Arena his home. 

2. Dayton is not your average non-Power 5 school. 

3. Grant is looking to compete with anyone for future Flyers. 

Sounds like good news to me overall… 

MORE ON THE FLYERS: Pollard to try out for G LeagueMalott to LatviaScoochie to AustraliaCooke to New Orleans 

There were a few developments on the football recruiting front, too. 

Centerville defensive lineman Jevon Henderson verbally committed to Bowling Green while Dunbar receiver Joseph Scates told Mike Hartsock he is down to two

The Wolverines standout will choose from West Virginia and Alabama, but not quite yet. 

Cameron Hoelscher, a linebacker from Springfield, also made his college decision. He’s going to Army… 

The Reds played over the weekend. It mostly went badly. 

Homer Bailey’s on again, off again relationship with competent pitching is on the skids after he was pummeled by the Cardinals, but Joey Votto has some more milestones for his Reds Hall of Fame career

RELATED: Stephenson headed to DL

The news wasn’t any better in Dayton, where the Dragons are winless in August and Jose Siri’s hit streak has come to an end. 

The Great Lakes Loons ended it in bush league fashion as pitcher Ryan Moseley threw behind the Reds’ No. 10 prospect early in an eighth-inning at-bat and then threw a 3-2 pitch way outside. 

RELATED: Siri’s streak halted in controversial fashion

Here’s look at how that nearly started a brawl: 

Highlights of controversial ball four in bottom of 8th inning.

There was some good news from the Reds over the weekend as the MRI on Anthony DeSclafani’s pitching elbow came back showing just tendonitis, but Robert Stephenson will have to wait a little while to try to build on his last outing, a positive one against Pittsburgh. 

The young starter bruised his shoulder trying to make a diving catch against the Pirates. 

This would be unbelievable if it happened to another team.