The Hype Surrounding Jessie Bates
With the abrupt release of long time Bengal George Iloka last week, the trust from the coaching staff and organization has been put onto Jessie Bates. Head coach Marvin Lewis seems to think Bates is ready, using terms like “comfortable” and “confident” to describe the rookie free safety. He definitely has the support of his teammates as well and is showing a veteran presence through his play and communication in the secondary.
With Iloka signed in Minnesota, the elephant in the room becomes the depth at free safety. Behind Bates, only Josh Shaw is next in line in case something would happen to Bates. Given he can stay healthy, only having Shaw as the backup would pay off, but I would expect in the case of an injury the Bengals would actively look to add another body. After consistently coming into the last two games after the opening drive, expect Bates to be in the game from the start.