After the 2011 season ended with a loss to the Houston Texans, the attention of the fans shifted immediately to 2012 and what was needed in order to get better. With Chris Crocker‘s drop of an easy interception in that game fresh in their minds, most were eager for an upgrade at his safety position. Crocker was solid in the run game, and a good tackler, but was below average in coverage, and his deficiencies were finally too much to overlook. The team didn’t renew his contract this offseason and the search for his replacement was on.
Most fans looked to the draft for a replacement. The team did use a late round pick on Boise State safety George Iloka, but he probably will need time to develop his game, leaving a competition between Robert Sands, the huge safety drafted last season, and Taylor Mays, a former 2nd round pick of the San Francisco 49ers, picked up via a trade by the Bengals last year. Based on the information coming out of Cincinnati so far, it appears as though Mays is the frontrunner so far.