Bengals News

Week in Review: Breaking Down the Bengals Safety Battle Between Jeromy Miles and Taylor Mays

shawnbmaher
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While this may seem like a conundrum, long-time special teams standout and back-up strong safety Jeromy Miles’ performance against Atlanta presented an answer to the needs at strong safety. While he does not quite have the length of Mays or rookie George Iloka, he played instinctively and broke down to make outstanding open field tackles on bubble screens, a situation in which Mays would be as likely to whiff as to deliver a big hit.
He also plays solid coverage and always seems to be around the ball. Miles is showing that he deserves to earn the starting strong safety spot on this year’s roster, while Mays is more suited for special teams and situational roles (like goal line defense). Maybe it’s time for the Bengals to cut their losses, cut Mays and groom Iloka to be their safety of the future.
The 49ers’ defense certainly did not miss Mays last season.
Unlike most defenses, the Bengals had greater success corralling the Falcons’ no-huddle attack, with most of Matt Ryan’s success coming out of the huddle. The reason is due to a smart group of defenders that are well-coached and disciplined, ready to adapt the quick pace and multiple looks that often confuse other defenses. Mays does not fit in this mold and will continue to hold the Bengals’ defense back if he is allowed to start.
Zimmer thought he had found the guy he always wanted last season, but in reality the perfect candidate for strong safety was already on the squad.

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