Aug 23, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver AJ Green (18) looks toward the fans during the pre-season game against the Green Bay Packers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports
Now that the Bengals are out of the playoffs, it’s time to look ahead to the off season. While this Bengals team has exceeded expectations the past 2 years, and was a pretty good 10-6 team, this team still has some holes on it that really need addressed this off season if they hope to advance any farther in the playoffs. And let’s be honest, while this is the first time the Bengals have had back to back playoffs teams since 1990, none of us should be satisfied with a 1 and done every year.
Linebacker – One way or another Rey Maualuga cannot start for this team next year. He was bad all year and absolutely exposed in the playoff game against the Texans. He misses too many tackles and can’t cover anyone. There are 2 ways I can see to go about this. The first is just sign or draft a new MLB and start him there. The second option is get an OLB to replace Vontaze Burfict and move him back inside. Either way, Maualuga has to be gone.
Safety – Reggie Nelson is an above average safety who is a very good at blitzing and is good against the run. Chris Crocker is the sane thing. We need a safety with some coverage skill who can cover TE’s and RB’s. The young safeties we keep picking in the 5th round don’t seem to be working out.