Bengals: Keep an eye out for who takes over the leadership mantle

Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Fans have seen the same leadership hierarchy for some time but with new faces donning stripes, keep an eye out to see who takes the mantle for the Bengals.

Throughout Marvin Lewis’ 16-year tenure as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, the orange and black faithful saw little change in the players who led the team. Often times, only retirement or a departure via free agency left the door open for new blood to take the reigns in the Queen City. In Zac Taylor’s second year at the helm, however, the leadership throne is wide open.

The roster is now full of players both old and new who are capable of paving the way for the new era of Bengals football. Of course, Carlos Dunlap, Shawn Williams, A.J. Green, and others are still present. Then again, Vonn Bell and D.J. Reader are now in stripes as well.

Additionally, you can’t forget about the 2020 draft class that’s bursting at the seams with leaders. Can the lore that surrounds Joe Burrow earn the respect of his teammates immediately? Will the other prospects continue their tradition of leading the pack?

Leadership will determine the style of football the Bengals play

On the surface, determining who takes the top leadership roles within the locker room may not seem like a big deal. However, it’s been proven time and again across the league that the leadership in an organization sets the tone and style of play for the entire team.

In fact, it could be argued that the quality of leadership is the difference between a playoff victory or a plane ticket home. Look no further than the case of the 2015 wild card loss. Cincinnati was led by players like Vontaze Burfict and Pacman Jones, and it showed down the stretch.

Painful memories aside, Duke Tobin and the rest of the front office have done a tremendous job of placing quality leadership candidates throughout the 2020 roster.

It could be the old regime, who has a quieter and business-like attitude. It could be some members of the historic free-agent class, who seem to thrive on passion. Perhaps the best-case scenario is for Burrow and the rest of his crew to take the mantle right away, ushering in a fiery “us against the world” mentality.

Related Story. Bengals’ OC says Burrow is commanding his teammates’ attention. light

The leadership circle could even contain players from all three of the aforementioned groups. Whatever the case may be, it will certainly be interesting to see how the team goes about picking their leaders and what identity it translates into, both on and off the field.