Heading into week two of the 2012 Preseason, there are still many questions that need to be answered before the coaches put together their final roster moves. Grant it there is quite a large amount of time left before those moves have to be made, but here are seven things to look for in Thursday’s game against the Falcons that will help with those final decisions.
1. Vontaze “The Animal” Burfict, Linebacker:
As of right now, “The Animal” is listed third on the Bengals depth chart behind Roddrick Muckleroy and Rey Maualuga. Obviously this entails that when Burfict gets playing time that it wont be until the second half. But don’t think that this means it wont be exciting to watch. If you remember, Vontaze Brufict, was projected at one point to go high in the first round,but because of penalties and other on the field issues he went un-drafted. So watching “The Animal” against the Atlanta Falcon’s 2’s and 3’s should be very interesting.
-In his first game he had 1 Solo Tackle, 4 Assisted Tackles, and 1 Interception.
– P.S. Freak-o-nomics 101. How can you miss with a name like Vontaze.
2. Punt Returner Position Battle: Tate, Jones, Hawkins;
The second aspect of Thursday’s game to watch for is the punt return game. The three main players competing for that No. 1 spot on the depth chart consist of; Brandon “Tater-Bug” Tate, Adam “Pac-Man” Jones, and Andrew “Baby Hawk” Hawkins.
Tate is currently No. 1 on the depth chart, but seeing how his is a starter, his playing time may be limited to prevent injury.
-In his first game he had 1 return for 12 yards.
Hawkins, who is currently listed at that No. 2 spot, seems to be in position to receive his fair share of returns. He is quicker, more agile, and has a better cut move than Tate (from what we have seen).
-In his first game he had 1 return for 4 yards. He also muffed that punt.
The last return man to mention is Adam”Pac-Man” Jones. Need we say more? This man built his career on his ability to return kicks and punts for Tennessee and was quickly labelled as one of the most dangerous return men in the game.
-Jones did not play in his first game due to a stretched muscle.