Bengals Banter: J.K. Schaffer to Practice Squad, Midseason Awards, & 4th-Quarter Woes


Nov 12, 2011; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker J.K. Schaffer (37) tackles the West Virginia Mountaineers running back Andrew Buie (13) in the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. The Mountaineers defeated the Bearcats 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

The Bengals announced yesterday that they’ve signed former UC linebacker J.K. Schaffer to the practice squad. After an outstanding 4-year career at UC that saw him named a two-time All-Big East selection, he was signed as an undrafted free agent by they Jacksonville Jaguars. He played in all four Jaguars preseason games and led the team in tackles with 18 stops to go along with one interception and two pass defenses. He was waived by the Jaguars on August 31, and was later signed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneer practice squad in September.

"I’ve got to first of all take my time learning the system, get to know this team and what the coaches want and then find my role on this team and excel at that. I’m going to take it one step at a time, but I’d do anything to help this football team."

Andy Dalton‘s 4th-quarter interception on Sunday with his team trailing 24-20 was a costly one, as the Broncos converted the turnover to a game-clinching touchdown to seal the Bengals fate. While it appeared Dalton was just throwing the ball up for grabs on third-and-25, he explained that wasn’t the case:

"We had a go-route and were trying to get A.J. It’s one of those where you can take a shot with A.J. and either he’s catching it or nobody is catching it. I had pressure in my face; I threw it and couldn’t get enough on it, and was getting hit. It was unfortunate that it happened at that time."

CBS Sports conducted it’s midseason awards for the Bengals, awarding their stud defensive tackle Geno Atkins the defensive MVP award:

"Defensive MVP — DT Geno Atkins: He leads all NFL interior linemen in sacks (7) and has become the focal point on what’s been a disappointing defense. In his third season, he belongs on the short list of the game’s best defensive tackles."

They also noted the emergence of rookie guard Kevin Zeitler, who has been above and beyond the best Bengals rookie this season:

"Rookie MVP — G Kevin Zeitler: The first-round pick stepped into a starting role from Day 1 and has yet to commit a penalty. He’s become a rock up front — pushing effectively in the run game and more than holding his own against the pass, as he has only allowed one sack on the season."

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