The Importance of Bengals MLB Vontaze Burfict

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May 11, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Bryce Davis (48) catches a pass in front of linebacker Emmanuel Lamur (52) during mini camp at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Of the 13 linebackers on the inflated 97 man roster, 7 are either rookies, players who have never taken a snap or have less than a year on an active duty roster.  Roddrick Muckelroy played very well in 2010 on special teams making a name for himself as a top contributor but a torn achillies tendon kept him sidelined last season.  In his stead, undrafted Duke Blue Devil and University Scholar Athlete, Vincent Rey stepped in and largely accomplished the same thing in 2011, ranking fifth in special teams tackles with 9.  While both look to be competitive in making the final roster, neither have recorded a tackle outside of special teams in a regular season game.

Michah Johnson and Evan DeQuin have both been in the NFL for a year, but haven’t done enough within that time to elevate them out of a first year status.  Johnson played a few pre-season games with Kansas City but was cut and later resigned with Cincinnati in mid-December; whereas DeQuin started on the Bengals practice squad last season and moved to the PUP in November because of a torn shoulder muscle.

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Tags: AFC North Bengals Cincinnati Cincinnati Bengals Dan Skuta Dontay Moch Manny Lawson Mike Zimmer Rey Maualuga Thomas Howard Vontaze Burfict

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