Jul 27, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer coaches during training camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
LDE Carlos Dunlap, Robert Geathers , Margus Hunt, Jamaal Anderson
NT Domata Peko, Brandon Thompson, Larry Black
RDT Geno Atkins, Devon Still, Terrence Stephens
RDE Michael Johnson, Wallace Gilberry, Dontay Moch, DeQuin Evans
LCB Terence Newman, Dre Kirkpatrick, Chris Lewis-Harris, Shaun Prater, Terrence Brown
SS Taylor Mays, Shawn Williams, Jeromy Miles,
FS Reggie Nelson, George Iloka, Tony Dye
RCB Leon Hall, Adam Jones, Brandon Ghee, Onterio McCalebb, Troy Stoudermire
The defense line is set at the top, but I think they will work guys like Wallace Gilberry and Devon Still in with the first team at times. It will be interesting to see where Margus Hunt works and if they get him some reps at DT. At linebacker, there will be an interesting battle of CFA’s, a former high draft pick, and rookie 4th round draft pick to get quality snaps. Players like Jason DiManche, Emmanuel Lamur, Vincent Rey, and Sean Porter could see time at multiple positions. Four players sit at the top of the depth chart at cornerback. After a lost rookie year, Dre Kirkpatrick will look to move up the depth chart but will take a back seat to veteran Terrence Newman to start training camp.
After a stand out training camp last year, Brandon Ghee will look to work his way into some 2nd team snaps and if veterans need a break he could see some 1st team reps as well. I think the team really wants to find a spot for Onterio McCalebb because of his KR abilities, but I don’t know if it will be a CB. Troy Stoudemire is also an accomplished kick returner and holds the NCAA record for kick return yards. Jeromy Miles will be a key special teams player but he offers little as a defensive player and stays at the end of the depth chart.
I hope they do the right thing and let Shawn Williams start training camp atop the depth chart, but it looks like they will make him pass Taylor Mays. Judging by a strong 2012 camp, Tony Dye could be a sneaky pick to leapfrog George Iloka for second team and 1st backup to Reggie Nelson.
Well, that does it, every year there are surprise risers and 2013 should be no different. For players starting at the end of a depth chart every rep, every snap, and every play matter in the ultra-competitive job market of the NFL.