Cincinnati Bengals safety George Iloka sees the oppurtunity for playing time at safety, and entering his second NFL season, the former Boise State star is ready to take advantage of the chance to be on the filed more in 2013 after rarely seeing it in 2012.
Iloka admits his rookie year was overbearing, but he’s adjusted to the game and expects to be a contributor this year:
Everything has slowed down. Everything last year was so fast. I didn’t pick it up as quickly as I needed to, but everything has slowed down now and that’s what you want. Once you get in the league, it’s how fast you can play; if you can process things mentally. You can be a 4.3 guy, but if you’re moving at 5 flat, you’re going to be slow.
This is a very complex defense. You have to be technically sound and know the playbook inside and out. To have a year in the system, it gives me the ability to be more confident in making checks and then just relying on my athletic ability to go out there and make plays.
Defensive backs coach Mark Carrier has also noticed Iloka’s improvements:
When we’re in our coverages. he’s able to pick the route and understand where he needs to be when the route is run. That takes time.
One thing we talked about with him is for him to be more of a physical presence, starting with special teams. Our safeties are a big part of special teams. If he’s going to be a part of this team, it starts there, and he understands what he has to do.