Aug 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Brandon Tate (19) catches a pass and runs past Tennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard (31) at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
2. Brandon Tate. While Tate hasn’t looked good in the return game, he has surprised incredibly in the passing game. He has shown good footwork on the sideline, excellent route running, and showed the ability to get yards after the catch. In fact, Tate has also looked good in camp with Dalton throwing to him. With the injury to AJ Green, Tate has taken this opportunity to show the coaches that he has something to offer in the passing game.
Making the most of these snaps, Tate has a very good chance of staying on this team if he continues to impress. While Tate may return punts and kicks, the time to watch him is when he is lined up as a receiver.
3. Shawn Williams. During the Titans game, Williams played aggressive and recorded 11 tackles that game which led the team. With Iloka doubtful for tonight’s game, Williams has a chance to showcase his talents and show that he could be a starter on this team. It’s believed that Iloka will be the starter, but if Williams plays very well, the depth chart could be changing.
This is an opportunity Williams cannot allow to pass by him. But whether he plays well or not, it will be key to see how much he has progressed transitioning into the NFL.
4. Ryan Whalen. Bengals fans expected Whalen to come up big with the injury to Green and Hawkins, hoping he would flash solid routes and soft hands. Thus far this preseason, Whalen has disappointed and now sees himself on the bubble. As stated earlier, Tate has shown this preseason he has something to offer to the offense as well as special teams, so Whalen has to step up in this game if he wants to stick on this roster.
Whalen can play well in the slot, just questions remain about his ability to get separation. A good game is something Whalen needs tonight to keep his hopes alive.