The Cincinnati Bengals have now conducted five training camp practices, and with nearly a month left before the season opener vs. the Chicago Bears, there are a number of positional battles that will ensue as roles on this team have have yet to be determined. Whether it be starting spot, a backup role, or that last receiver who makes the roster, the next month of football will go a long way in determining which players are not only able to make the roster, but how much they will play when the 2013 NFL Season begins.
The biggest positional battle that will ensue is the starting strong safety spot.
“It could be anyone and they’re getting the same amount of reps. Zim is doing a great job rotating them in and out of there,” said secondary coach Mark Carrier after Monday’s practice. “It’s a great competition.”
The Bengals have rotated three players with the first-team defense here, and as is it stands right now, this battle could go well into the season before someone takes this spot and doesn’t relinquish it. Many projected Shawn Williams, a third-rounder out of Georgia to win the job, if for no other reason, than to keep the enigmatic Taylor Mays out of the starting lineup. Mays plays with reckless abandonment that leaves his fellow defenders having to account for him when he’s frequently out of position, and he’s a danger to his own teammates with his head-hunting mentality.