CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 1: Nick Vigil #59 of the Cincinnati Bengals is congratulated by his teammates after making a defensive stop during the third quarter of the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Sports Today: Bengals developing, Reds demote former No. 1, Pittsburgh gets stupid

With the Cincinnati Bengals holding another open practice Tuesday, one of the players they are betting will be ready for an expanded role this fall was the focus of a story from our Jay Morrison

In his second year out of Utah State, Nick Vigil is needed to bring some fresh blood to a linebacking corps that was built to stop the power running games of the AFC North. 

The problem: They have evolved to keep up with the ever-changing NFL. 

Vigil was known as a downhill thumper at Utah State, although he also showed the ability to run in coverage with tight ends and backs. That’s something he said he hopes to show more of with his leaner frame, and it was on display Tuesday as he stayed stride for stride with wide receiver Alex Erickson on a deep route.

Meanwhile on the other side of the ball, A.J. Green told reporters he is feeling great and looking for a big year for the offense. 

Second-year receiver Cody Core has impressed early, and of course the team added receivers John Ross and Josh Malone along with running back Joe Mixon in the draft. 


“They can all make plays all over the field,” Green said. “I feel like we’re getting back to where we were in 2015 with Marvin (Jones), Mo (Sanu) I feel like once (Tyler Boyd) gets settled in, he’ll be able to play faster because now he knows what to do and the way ‘CC’ is coming along, and after adding Ross and adding (rookie running back Joe) Mixon, I feel like we’re getting back to that 2015 roster.”

They may need to be as prolific a scoring unit as that one to get back to the playoffs, but Vigil will have something to say about that… 

The Reds lost again in Toronto last night. 

Surprisingly enough, their starting pitcher wasn’t very good. 

The bullpen lost this one, though, as Blake Wood allowed a two-run homer to Kendrys Morales to break a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the eighth. 

Former Wright State pitcher Joe Smith got the win in relief for the Blue Jays

That all overshadowed a two-home run game by Zack Cozart, who is third in All-Star Game voting despite being the best shortstop in the league so far this season. 

In these crazy times, it’s nice to know the tradition of ASG voting being a popularity contest not based on merit is still alive and well… 

Erstwhile No. 1 prospect Robert Stephenson was sent to Triple-A Louisville yesterday after being shelled on Monday, but manager Bryan Price had good things to say about the righty

"The first two months of the season have served him well," Price said of Stephenson, "in that he's had a small handful of games where he wasn't very good and a much larger number of games where he was very good.”

Price indicated it’s back to starting for Stephenson, who has pitched in long relief this season at The Show… 

Maybe Dayton lost more than just a recruit with a famous last name when Nahziah Carter was released from his letter of intent.

Here is Jay-Z’s nephew throwing down a nasty dunk on Marvin Bagley III, the top-rated recruit in the class of 2018. 

It remains to be seen if Carter will spend next season in college or prep school. 

He told former Dayton coach Archie Miller is still recruiting him now that he is at Indiana, where NBA defections have opened up a scholarship for this fall. 

Meanwhile, new Flyers coach Anthony Grant continues putting together the staff that will lead UD basketball into the future: 5 things to know about Devin Davis, the newest UD basketball staff member… 

Lastlyhere’s an early candidate for worst opinion of the week 

It comes from the perspective of Pittsburgh, where they are equating flying fish with weaponry. 

Believe it or not, the guy who smuggled a catfish into the Penguins arena and threw it onto the ice during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, is being charged with multiple crimes*. 

I wasn’t sure who to root for until now, but this has probably pushed me into the Nashville column. 

As much as I don’t want to see my team’s destroyer win it all, I’d also prefer if Jonathan Toews continue having more rings than Sidney Crosby into perpetuity. 

*UPDATE: The district attorney has announced charges will be dropped, so at least someone has some common sense there. 

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