Before the 2012 offseason transitioned into training camp and preseason matches the Cincinnati Bengals overhauled a seconday unit that saw its share of struggles in 2011. Houston Texans cornerback Jonathan Joseph departed from Cincy during last offseason and Leon Hall missed much of last year with an achilles injury.
This offseason the Bengals gathered a crop of serviceable veterans and talented youngsters alike to revamp their defensive backfield. Long-time Dallas Cowboys defensive staple CB Terence Newman was signed in hopes he would return to his Pro Bowl form. The Bengals resigned Adam Jones, added CB Jason Allen and SS Taylor Mays and drafted rookie CBs Dre Kirkpatrick, Shaun Prater and FS George Iloka.
Newman was once a highly touted athlete who had high school varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball and track. In college he played for the late Bill Snyder at Kansas State and went on to win the Big-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year and the Jim Thorpe Award for best defensive back in the country.
After Newman was drafter by the Cowboys in the first round of the 2003 draft, it didn’t take him long to establish himself as a shutdown corner. He habitually led the team in interceptions and limited opposing offenses by forcing them to throw away from him.
Within the last few years Newman has worn out his stay in Dallas and was released by a Cowboys team that really needs help at his position. It seems as if Newman has been losing focus. He has allowed numerous deep throws to be easily completed and needless to say he has looked like he had enough of the D-Town drama and given up on his team.
The Bengals are hoping to reignite the competitive fire within Newman and get a couple good years out of him as they transition to their next phase of young talent at the DB position. So far, Newman has looked a bit lost. It seems like he’s carried his bad habits with him to Cincinnati. Head coach Marvin Lewis, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, the rest of the team and Bengals fans are hoping this will get sorted out by Week 1 of the regular season.