Three Defensive Moves Bengals Must Make During Training Camp

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Nov 6, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals strong safety George Iloka (43) against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. The Browns won 24-3. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It’s nearly June and the offseason activities have already begun.  As the offseason rolls on the Cincinnati Bengals will have some difficult decisions to make.  The defensive side of the ball will need to make some moves to improve each unit for both the coming season and for the future.  After acquiring talent over the offseason to build up each defensive unit, Cincinnati has created a situation whereby they will be faced with some difficult decisions; such is the curse of acquiring so much talent.

Along the defensive line, Cincinnati added former defensive end Michael Johnson and defensive tackle Pat Sims.  They also brought in rookie Marcus Hardison with a fourth-round selection and signed undrafted free agent defensive tackle DeShawn Williams out of Clemson.  With all the talent along the line, Cincinnati will be hard-pressed to find a place for everyone.

At linebacker, the Bengals added veteran A.J. Hawk early in the offseason.  Then, they added Paul Dawson in the third round of the draft.  He was considered to be a steal at selection 99. Due to the veteran savvy of Hawk and the instinctual nature of Dawson, the Bengals have prepared themselves well to deal with any potential absence for Vontaze Burfict.

The secondary was bolstered only via the draft.  The Bengals added versatile defensive back Josh Shaw who will be mentored by former USC standout and current Bengals secondary coach Mark Carrier.  Carrier will also tutor Derron Smith who was considered a steal when selected by the Bengals in the sixth round of this year’s draft.  Finally, Cincinnati added Troy Hill, considered to be yet another steal for the secondary, as an undrafted free agent.

The Bengals certainly made some solid additions this offseason, but now we must look to how they will handle all this talent come August’s training camp.  Let’s take a look at some decisions that should be made by the Bengals come training camp.

Next: A Defensive Line Decision