Continuing the “What to Watch” series, today we’re talking about the defensive side of the ball.
Yesterday I touched on what to watch in this weeks pre-season game versus the Detroit Lions. I mentioned the Quarterback position, the Offensive Line and Wide Receiver.
Defensive Line- While not having any new draft picks on the DL, the young 2nd year players Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap will have a lot to show this week. The Lions have never been known to have a stud offensive line so the Bengals DL should be able to penetrate and cause havoc throughout the night.
Linebackers- The LB corps is the most transformed position group on the team. The tentative regular season starters are looking like Manny Lawson at Sam, Rey Maualuga at Mike and Thomas Howard at Will. Only one of those players were on the team last year, with Rey playing Sam not Mike. Manny and Thomas are young players coming into their prime, playing here with the Bengals may give these 2 a chance to shine. Young players Vincent Rey and 3rd round pick Dontay Moch are 2 players to keep fans interested in the 2nd half of the game. As many seem to be agreeing Moch is proving to be a physical freak who is a year or 2 away from being a starter at Sam.
Safety- Two young safeties who will make this position interesting is 2nd year Jeromy Miles and Robert Sands. Sands, is a giant, physical safety coming out of West Virginia, who is being moved from a FS at WVU to SS with the Bengals. He may take a little while to adjust but the idea of having a 6’5″ 220 lb SS is just too good to pass up on (taking him in the 5th round was brilliant).
That’s it for my brief What to Watch: Defense. Check back in tomorrow for my look at ST.