Bengals: The 3 most intense training camp battles to watch for

Cincinnati Bengals, Bobby Hart (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals, Bobby Hart (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals, Shawn Williams (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Cincinnati Bengals training camp battles: Shawn Williams vs. Vonn Bell

Nearly every free-agent signed this offseason was brought in specifically to fill a starting position with the exception of Vonn Bell, who will have to battle things out with Shawn Williams in some capacity. Viewed as a luxury signing to some, former Bengal safety David Fulcher had this to say about Bell’s addition,

"“You need an outcast. Somebody that doesn’t look like the norm. He’s coming from a winning organization… he’s a game-changer, he makes plays… when he comes in here, he’s going to be affecting everybody. His motor is on 10 and some of our other guys’ motor can only get up to 5. Maybe he’s going to bring that level of defense up…”"

Much like the case of Ross and Higgins, Williams and Bell will both get their fair share of playing time. Still, one will get the honor of lining up next to Jessie Bates III for the first snap of the season. Whoever does so could hold the keys to being the leader for the entire defense.

Adding to the competition is the overlap in their skillsets and strengths. Both excel playing in the box and routinely deliver hard hits. Not to mention, both are known as alphas who play with a passion. It will be interesting to see who fills the primary role alongside Bates the best.

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Regardless, having the duo gives defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo much more flexibility. In today’s pass-happy league, opposing offenses are tremendous at generating mismatches. Bell and Williams are each versatile enough to cover a range of different types of players to neutralize the offensive gameplan.