Going into the new season, the Cincinnati Bengals’ main concern is the linebacker position. There’s no need to elaborate on this since there are already thousands of discussions of this kind on the web. The question now is, going into the draft, will the Bengals go for talent or necessity? The Bengals found success in the draft for the past two years. It experienced an improvement that is as fast as the sales of NFL London tickets. In 2011, the team picked AJ Green and Andy Dalton for their top two picks. Both guys played well in their last season’s campaign. A year later, it nabbed Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict who was last year’s team leader in tackles with 127. After these acquisitions, the Paul Brown Stadium-based team made back to back playoff appearances for the first time. The future looks bright for them but the linebacker position may get in the way. One name to consider is British linebacker Tom Wort. There’s not much fanfare about this senior Oklahoma Sooners. However, many predict that he is going to have a fruitful NFL career because he was still able to excel despite his team’s focus on passes. He was able to make 53 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles in his 33 starts this season.
If the Bengals select him, the team will have a young core. AJ Green is only 20 years old, so his and Wort’s fresh legs will be able to compete against top teams. Green, who is known for his competitive spirit which he sometimes channels through poker games, is someone who can guide Wort. He can invite the younger guy for some poker games to help him become strategic, a skill that is vital on gridiron. Green can use his favorite pastime to inject a winning attitude on newer guys. Poker and football are pretty much the same. Every play (round for poker) is ruled through effective strategies. Poker is big among NFL players too, with some of them turning to sites like partypoker whenever their schedules don’t permit them to go to casinos. Most of these players are of high profile, that’s why they’re always invited in charity tournaments. Among them are Errict Rhett, James Lee, and Emanuel Cook. If Green and Wort will gel well, they’ll make a case of becoming NFL’s Sam Trickett and Jake Cody. These two are tagged as the Brit Pack because of their massive success despite their young age.
The Bengals’ dire need for linebacker can either be resolved through the draft or free agents. Tom Wort may not be the first priority but he has so much to offer in the table. Aside from filling the void in LB position, he can also help widen the team’s fan base since he is one of the few British players to make it big in American football in the USA. But of course, the team’s future is what’s more important. Bengal fans are waiting for what will happen come April 25.