Football is back! Even the preseason games get me excited, and in about three weeks approximately 900 football players will be without a team. The Bengals roster seems set up to around the 48th player with roster battles still waging at RB, WR, LB, OL, and S. Some players are trending upwards while others seem stuck in a rut. Here is a look at both good and bad players who have stood out.
Hot To The Touch:
LB Jason DiManche – The prize UDFA for the Bengals has impressed, and once his knowledge of the defense and game matches his body, the Bengals will have a real solid player. With a sack and two tackles for loss in the first preseason game, DiManche has clearly out played 4th rounder Sean Porter and is making a very strong push to be on the final 53.
LB JK Shaffer – This summer when I was going through the roster I remember thinking that JK Shaffer will make a roster this year. A true MLB, he lead the Jags in tackles last preseason and could be on pace to do it for the Bengals. Will JK Shaffer make Vinny Rey expendable?
WR Dane Sanzenbacher – He doesn’t just have a cool last name, this kid can play. This is why the preseason is so important to some players. There is practice and then there are games and Sanzenbacher shows up for sure in games. I would like to see him return kicks as well as punts so maybe the team can move on from current returner Brandon “Timid” Tate. Depending on the severity of Andrew Hawkins injury, Sazenbacher could find himself locking down the 5th/6th WR spot.
RB Rex Burkhead – As I stated in a previous article about who plays when, Burkhead will do what is asked to make the team. So far he has run, blocked, and tackled like an NFL player. Look for him to be the 4th RB because I don’t think he would make it the practice squad.
K Quinn Sharp – Here is a kid that was a dominate college kicker and punter. As much as I like the team having to find a kicker in the middle of the season because Mike Nugent is hurt, it would be nice to move on and Quinn is making his case. The touchback machine has a booming leg and I wonder if the team will even consider replacing the former Buckeye with Quinn.