Week in Review: Bengals Roster Cut Dilemmas
The linebacker position right now is shaky at best. The Bengals currently have three starters that are proven veterans, but not much after that. Still, there are tough decisions to make about this position when the Bengals make their final roster cuts.
Middle linebacker makes for one of the best battles during the preseason. Incumbent starter, Rey Maualuga will retain his spot as the Bengals’ starter. Roddrick Muckelroy has been very impressive when given an opportunity to play. He played with the first string defense in Maualuga’s absence and played very well. He looked like be belonged right there at the quarterback of the defense. Another player who has been a huge surprise this season is rookie undrafted free agent, Vontaze Burfict. Burfict has also seen reps with the first team offense and looked just as good a Maualuga and Muckelroy at the position. He showed that he is certainly an NFL caliber player and seems to have a nose for the football as he has recorded an interception and a number of solo tackles this preseason. Even if he is not making the play, he always seems to be right there.
A backup linebacker that is a lock for a roster spot is Dan Skuta. He is the most game-experienced player on the Bengals roster that is not a starter as he backs up Manny Lawson. Dontay Moch showed his speed from the outside as a great pass rushing linebacker and should be used this year in passing situations. On the other side, Vincent Rey has been very reliable when he has seen playing time in the preseason and should be a valuable backup to Thomas Howard. However, there is another surprise at this position. Rookie, Emmanuel Lamur has been fantastic in camp and has caught Zimmer’s eye. Lamur may be one of the best coverage linebackers on the Bengals’ roster. A coverage linebacker is something that the Bengals desperately need because of the lack of consistency covering running backs and tight ends.
That puts nine linebackers that are very capable of making the 53-man roster. There is a possibility of sneaking one or two onto the practice squad, but it should be done with caution as other teams are scouting these players vigorously.
Out of those three positions alone, it goes to show how deep the Bengals are going into the 2012 season. There will be some interesting moves during the final cuts as they may keep more players at a position that usual, or make a couple surprising cuts. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. On the bright side of things, there are many NFL teams out there that wish they were in the same situation as the Bengals right now. Having so many young, talented players on a roster is a blessing. Be sure to keep track of all of the Bengals latest roster moves here on Stripe Hype. If you have any questions or comments about the Bengals’ roster, be sure to post on the message board below or let us know what you think by messaging us on Twitter.
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