Bengals News

What Can Each Bengals LB Improve Upon in 2018?

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CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 01: Carl Lawson #58 of the Cincinnati Bengals reacts to a play in the first half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Aller /Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 01: Carl Lawson #58 of the Cincinnati Bengals reacts to a play in the first half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Aller /Getty Images) /
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The Bengals have some hard-hitting linebackers, but many of them have their flaws. Here’s what each one can do to improve this upcoming season.

When you put the words “linebacker” and “Bengals” together, everyone automatically points to the hard hitting Vontaze Burfict. Yes, Burfict to me embodies the tough grit of Cincinnatians, but he isn’t the only exciting linebacker to watch this upcoming season. Plus with him being suspended the first four games, other guys will get their shot for playing time. With a mix of veterans and youth, this group looks to improve on both the run and pass defense. Let’s look at the group aside from Burfict.

Laying Down the Lawson

If you didn’t follow the Bengals last season and someone asked you who the leader in sacks was, you would think of a popular Bengals defensive lineman or linebacker first. Although Geno Atkins did capture that title with 9 sacks, Carl Lawson nearly caught him as a rookie. Lawson was absolutely unstoppable as a rookie, totaling 8.5 sacks, and that should continue this season.

Much to the dismay of Bengals fans and football fans alike, the team plans on keeping him contained with limited snaps and opportunities to play. Holding Lawson back from building off an incredible rookie season is a crime, and I would expect him to continue his dominant play even in in limited snaps. Last season he didn’t even account for 50% of snaps (was on 42%) and someone with that much potential should deserve that opportunity. Look for Lawson to improve his pass rush, as he has become even more in shape, and to improve on his tackling on the edge and interior. If he can do that, the snaps should follow.

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