Cincinnati Bengals: Breakout Performers of the Year

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Nov 10, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) gets tackled by Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vincent Rey (57) at M

LB Coach – Paul Guenther

I’m sorry I have a need to fight for the unrecognized and Gunther fits the bill. In his 9th season as a coach for the Bengals he has done wonders at the linebacker position and deserves credit for it.

Given only one drafted linebacker, not counting Sean Poter, Gunther has made his unit strength of the defense.The linebackers were clearly better in coverage this year and truly played sideline to sideline.

He has a major part in the development of Vontaze Burfict and other college free agent linebackers that have performed well. Having a guy like Vincent Rey go from an undrafted journeyman to a capable NFL starter was also aided by Guenther’s coaching.

If defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer leaves for a head coaching gig, which it looks like he might, Gunther would have to get some consideration to take over and ease the transition.

What are your thoughts? Who are your MVP’s of the 2013 season? Let me know @DDMeritt on twitter.