ICYMI: Bengals 2013 Season Preview: A Look at the Linebackers

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Dec 13, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga (58) prior to playing the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Bengals defeated the Eagles 34-13. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Something else to consider in regards to the SAM linebacker position is moving Maualuga there. Joe Goodberry of SB Nation’s Cincy Jungle produced a statistic for the Bengals’ personnel packages last season. Goodberry noted that the SAM linebacker was only on the field for 35.5% of passing plays, while being on the field for 67.8& of run plays. While Maualuga has struggled in pass coverage, he has done relatively well against the run over the past two seasons, receiving a grade of +10.15 by Pro Football Focus. If the Bengals decide to move him to the strong side, they will have a player with the skill set necessary to play the position during running downs. During passing downs, the Bengals could elect to rotate in another play who is more apt to cover.

Another school of thought regarding the situation of linebacker is through the draft. With the 21st pick in the draft, and the 37th and 52nd picks in the second round, the Bengals are in a great position to add some serious talent in the draft. If the Bengals decide to make a move on a linebacker in the first round, they may have a chance to land a talented player like Kansas State’s Arthur Brown or Georgia’s Alec Ogeltree. In the second round, Connecticut’s Sio Moore or Khaseem Greene from Rutgers could play the strong side linebacker in Mike Zimmer’s defense.

As of right now, the Bengals have an interesting road ahead of them in finding the right man for the job in 2013. That being said, with the way our front office has been work as of late, it is easy to imagine the Bengals will make another step forward for the 2013 season.

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