The Guenther Factor – Part II: Depth
August 16, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Dontay Moch (52) and defensive back Taylor Mays (26) in the first half at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
It is important to keep in mind the Bengals play more than 50% of their defensive snaps from the nickel, which is to say with only two linebackers on the field. This stresses the important of coverage linebackers over sack-hungry outside linebackers. Further, Coach Guenther understands the capabilities and limitations of these linebackers better than anyone. Could that a mean that Maualuga could move back SAM, allowing Burfict to move from WILL to MLB, opening room for Lamur to start, or does it make more since to package Lamur and let Rey assume the middle of the field. It is far too early to speculate acutely, but the point remains that raw positional talent was clearly here before the opening gavel of NFL Draft (despite the clamor of some).
Certainly, whatever final combination starts the season in stripes will be a veteran group, a factor which the top end NFL franchises are constantly able to produce. Admittedly, accepting your current talent is foreign to most life-long Bengals fans, but it is a proven way to successfully do business in the NFL; reload, not reset.