Bengals News

3 Bengals we need to see more of following the BYE week

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9), center, calls the play in the huddle in the second quarter during a Week 8 NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.Cincinnati Bengals At New York Jets Oct 31
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9), center, calls the play in the huddle in the second quarter during a Week 8 NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.Cincinnati Bengals At New York Jets Oct 31 /
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Vernon Hargreaves III (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Vernon Hargreaves III (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

2. Vernon Hargreaves

In keeping with the war of attrition theme, think back over the last several seasons with me and think about some of the names the Bengals have trotted out in the secondary. B.W. Webb ring a bell? How about Mackenzie Alexander? LeShaun Sims? I think you get my point.

The Bengals have employed a veritable motley crew of players in the secondary for the whole of Lou Anarumo’s tenure as defensive coordinator. Many of whom shouldn’t have even been on an NFL roster. (Looking at you B.W. Webb).

While some of this was precipitated by injury, others were just bad decisions.  For 2021, the injury bug has stayed away from the defense, for the most part, the obvious exception being the always injured Trae Waynes. Unlike past years, however, the team has gone after name players when for whatever reason they have become available.

Enter Vernon Hargreaves. The former 11th overall pick just five seasons ago was let go in a salary dump move by the Houston Texans, and unlike past years when the Bengals would sit on their hands and let a player clear waivers, the team jumped in and claimed him.

Why is this significant? Because you simply cannot have enough depth on the back end of the defense as the calendar turns to November and December. Hargreaves has first-round pedigree and is still young.

Much like Eli Apple, who was also a first-round pick in the same draft as Hargreaves, the former Florida Gator has the opportunity to resurrect his career on a potential playoff team. Hargreaves has been released three times in his short career, and if there are locker room or attitude issues it remains to be seen.

Hopefully, he can bring some veteran experience to the secondary and contribute down the stretch.

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