When you look at the Pro Bowl voting for Bengal players you automatically have to think AJ Green and Geno Atkins is high on the list. Can you think of a time when a Rookie Free Safety by the Bengals got major votes at this time of year? Jessie Bates is having the season we were hoping for.
The Cincinnati Bengals are getting an A+ in the second round of this past draft. Jessie Bates the stand out Free Safety from Wake Forest came into training camp thinking he was going to be the backup for veteran Free Safety George Iloka. One of the big noises in the off-season was Iloka getting cut and putting the rookie in as the starter. Picked as the 4th Safety in the draft, Bates might have a better season than any of the other safeties in his class.
Jessie Bates has compiled 80 tackles, 5 deflected passes, 3 interceptions, and a defensive touchdown. 65% of his tackles were solo tackles. The kids vision is extraordinary for a rookie. He reads the eyes of the QB like a center fielder eyes a ball in the outfield. He covers the field with dominating speed. He does not allow a lot of yards after catch.
Bates first game against the Bengals rival Ravens had his first interception in his young career. He had an Interception to help decide the game against the Miami Dolphins. Then against the Tampa Bay Bucs he scored his first touchdown.
The Bengals had Reggie Nelson go to the Pro Bowl in 2015. That’s the last time the Bengals brought a safety to the Pro Bowl. When you talk about his talent and knowledge of the position at such a young age you have to think back to David Fulcher in the 90s. Bates isn’t built like Fulcher but his knowledge exceeds that expectation. There is a very good belief that we will see Bates in the Pro Bowl for many years.
Parting ways with George Iloka seemed like a bad idea at the start but it created monster dividends. This is the way the Bengals should look toward the next couple seasons. When is it time to let players go and hand the torch over to younger more versatile players like Jessie Bates. There are a lot of main players that have not made this franchise move to the next level and now they need to roll the dice again.
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The Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict will discover himself in a weird place. Most fans of the Bengals have been siding with him but his on the field antics and injuries are not helping the Bengals get back on track.
When the Bengals drafted Burfict in 2012 from Arizona St., they knew they were getting an exceptional talent but with that talent came on the field antics that left you baffled. Dennis Erickson, Arizona St. head coach thought of him as the next Ray Lewis. Vontaze Burfict was Pac-10 Defensive Freshmen of the Year in 2009 and Pac-10 Defensive Player of the year in 2010. With this greatness he had an unusual amount of Personal Fouls and Un-sportsmen like penalties which led to a mediocre Junior year.
The Cincinnati Bengals decided to take a chance on Burfict in the 2012. His on the field antics hurt his draft status so much that he went from 1st round prospect to un-drafted. His first season wasn’t too bad as he collected 127 tackles. In 2013 he led the league in tackles with 171 and made his first Pro Bowl.
2013 was Burfict’s best year and it was also the year the on the field antics started to appear. In a game between the Green Bay Packers he hit a defenseless receiver and hit a player in the groin. Then in 2014 he twisted Cam Newton and Greg Olsen’s ankle. Then in 2015 the mass destruction with 18 seconds left of the AFC Wild Card game he hit Antonio Brown defenselessly causing the Bengals to self destruct. The 2016 season he started the season on a 3 game suspension. In 2017 he started the season on a 5 game suspension and this season he started the season with a 4 game suspension. Along with the suspensions he started to develop injuries also.
I can go on and on about Burfict’s un-sportsmen like nature but this really isn’t about the long list of on the field antics. This is about what have you done for us lately. He was the driving force of the defense since 2015. The fans protecting him because of his ability. After the destructive loss in the playoffs we figured he would get us back to where we were. It has not happened. The Bengals went from making the playoffs 5 straight years to missing the playoffs the last 2 seasons(in danger of missing a 3rd straight season).
It is time to wipe the slate clean. A rebuild is in order. Dropping Burfict in the off season will save almost 7 million in cap space for next season and almost 9 million for 2020. There are exceptional talent in Free Agency next year at the LB position. Jadeveon Clowney is the best LB at free agency with extreme upside but has a hefty price tag of 16.5 million a year market value. C.J. Mosley is a cheaper value at 9.5 million a year market value. Both the Texans and the Ravens will most likely cut ties with both star LBs. The Ravens have no choice to cut ties with Mosley due to lack of cap space. The Bengals don’t have much more cap space but they will be cutting ties with a lot of their last year contract players. Include the drop of Burfict and the Bengals can have a beefy Pro Bowl Lb core.
Mike Brown wanted to go back to competing in the next two years. He needs to make the proper steps to get back on track. He played the Free Agent market last off season but paid for mediocre talent. He needs to pay for players too get you to the big dance.
Happy Thanksgiving to all you fine Bengal fans out there!
All off-season the Bengals fans have been waiting for yesterday to come. Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap are here in Cincinnati to stay.
August 28th 2018 marked the day that Mike Brown secured the Bengals defensive line for the next four years. Mike Brown has been under a lot of scrutiny during his reign. A lot of fans express the feeling that he doesn’t know what talent he has on the ball team. He trades and/or cuts players that should have been a team staple like Andrew Whitworth. Now when he said we have two years to get this to a contending championship team he has made every step possible and this was the final piece to the puzzle. The signing of Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap will secure the defensive line for another 3 to 4 years.
Geno Atkins DT was the Bengals fourth round pick in 2010 from the University of Georgia. He was a great talent but no one knew he would be talented enough 8 years later to be a Hall Of Fame player. He has made it to the Pro Bowl 6 times and the only year he didn’t was when he was injured. He has 61 sacks and only needs two more quality seasons to beat the Bengals all time sack record. His contract extension is good through 2022 which is four years at $65.2 million. 25 million is guaranteed and he gets 37.5 million through 2019. He is worth every penny.
Carlos Dunlap DE was the Bengals second round pick in 2010 from the University of Florida. He has two Pro Bowls and 64.5 sacks. He has been a force on the end for many years. His contract extension goes through 2021 for three years at 45 million. There are no other specifics on the contract at this time.
So we are in an era where offense reigns supreme. I love the old school mentality that the Bengals have. A great defense still wins championships. One thing I would like to add is: What is better? Having two great Defensive linemen or having one great Defensive lineman like Aaron Donald. Best part about that question is there are more talent on that defensive line that is coming. The best of the Bengals defense will come the next 5 years.
The Cincinnati Bengals best sack leaders will be on the spotlight. Both Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins are on a contract year. Bet on those two.
Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins as we all know is approaching their contract year. Usually when players don’t get their extension in the off-season they have to play like it is their last time with the team.
Dunlap and Atkins are both approaching Eddie Edwards for the sack lead in Bengals history. It will take them two seasons to pass him. It will build the incentive for both players if they have a great contract year. This could be why they are waiting to hit a deal. Huge bonuses should be in order. Both players will be in their 30s but they will also possibly see the biggest paycheck in their age range.
Bet on this! The duo of Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins will total 25+ sacks within the 2018 season. Both players will also be ahead of the franchise sack leaders taking over Eddie Edwards spot. The disruption of younger players will also help their cause. Jordan Willis is looking more and more like a starter as an edge rusher and the rookie Sam Hubbard will have a stake at the Qb also.
Geno Atkins is more than capable of having double-digit sacks. He had 12.5 sacks in 2012 and 11 sacks in 2015. He has 61 sacks total in his career. Carlos Dunlap has only one double digit sack season with 13.5 sacks in 2015. He has been less consistent than Atkins but he is more then capable of making double digit sacks. He has 64.5 career sacks.
Everyone has heard of what the former corner back has done in Western Michigan. Now there is a good chance we all can see him contribute as a starter down the line.
Darius Phillips is now known as a defensive touchdown maker. In his four-year college career he had five kickoff returns for a touchdown. Later in his junior year he started returning punts and had a touchdown return. As a corner back he had five interceptions for touchdowns and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. In his freshman year he even had two receiving touchdowns. In conclusion he is a magnet for the end zone.
In OTAs Darius Phillips is already making a splash. In first round of OTAs he had 2 interceptions and a couple batted balls. He is now playing with the first team to see how well things go. He isn’t disappointing anyone.
He looks like he can be the replacement of Adam Jones. This poses a good problem. What happens with Dre Kirkpatrick? His 2017 season was on a huge decline compared to the two years before.
There has been a lot of talk about Dre going out. Darqueze Dennard should be safe as he emerged as a top slot corner back. William Jackson III has earned the right to have a starting role. Dre Kirkpatrick should be safe for now since the team wont be saving cap space till 2019. His trade value at the moment is high now. With a trade it will take nearly 8 million dollars off the books where as if he is cut this year it only saves 1 millions.
There should be no worries to anyone but as starters you could see Darius starting this year sometime. Keep doing what he does best. The secret is out now about this kid from Western Michigan.
Second year defensive end Jordan Willis is sharpening his skills at the OTAs. With improving his skills and with a good rookie season last year, he should win a starting job.
Jordan Willis had a very good rookie season last year for a back up. He has great lateral quickness and a decent pass rush as he has shown last year. 60% of his snaps last year was on running plays and it was hard for offenses to contain him with his speed and agility.
Problem is Jordan Willis came out of college as a 3-4 defensive end. That is a good indication that we would see more great run stopping ability. The Bengals run a 4-3 defense. This limits Jordan Willis full potential. Reason is because Michael Johnson is a true 4-3 defensive end and has better pressure on the qb. Jordan Willis is not a true edge rusher yet he is forced to play one in the Bengals current scheme. There have been talks that Teryl Austin will run both a 3-4 and a 4-3 in certain situations. This will help Willis.
Jordan Willis had 25 tackles and one sack in his rookie season. He is a huge favorite of new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. Michael Johnson’s contract is up after this season. In OTAs Jordan Willis has been getting pointers by legend defensive end Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap came to the league as a 3-4 defensive end also but has transitioned quickly to one of the best defensive ends the Bengals ever had.
Look for Jordan Willis to have a great season as a run stopper at the edge. He has been excelling at new moves to get to the Qb on the edge. He will excel as a great compliment on the other side of Carlos Dunlap.
Cincinnati Bengals star defensive tackle Geno Atkins has made yet another top 100 list by his peers. He ranked 63rd in 2017.
The Cincinnati Bengals star defensive tackle Geno Atkinsis no stranger to the NFL Network top 100. This is his fifth time in the top 100. He is ranked 63rd according to his peers. As he turned 30 this year Atkins continues to create havoc to every offensive line. He has 61 sacks and he can’t wait to do some more with the Bengals.
Geno Atkins has been dominating since 2010. He has not slowed down. He had 9 sacks and 21 QB hits last season at the age of 29. This year is Geno Atkins contract year. He has been waiting for an extension before this season starts. Regardless he will produce. With Teryl Austin’s new defense expect Atkins to get double digits in sacks and rush the QB at will. He will be battling Aaron Donald for defensive tackle supremacy.