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.
George Iloka has been in the Bengals system for six solid years. He didn’t have a great statistical season in 2017. He is looking to improve.
The best way to get better on your skill set would be starting at the beginning of the year. OTAs help a player improve on their skills. It is more for the player and not the team. After you refine your skills then training camp begins and you show the team how you put things together.
Statistically the Bengals were one of the worst teams in interceptions. They gave up way to many deep balls also. Iloka knows he needs to improve. He played out of position to many times last year and that is his goal to get his picks up. He would go for the big hit instead of going for the pick. Watch a change in that. The will get some help this year from rookie Jessie Bates.
With Burfict out for the first four games I believe Iloka can also become the team captain. He is well-respected by the team. He is respected by defensive coordinator Teryl Austin also. With Austin’s defensive style I think we will see a better George Iloka as the defense will play to his strengths. There will be more blitzing from the safeties. There will be a lot of nickel packages.
There will be a number of questions that need to be asked toward the Cincinnati Bengals. There will be five rumors that we will focus on. Please make comments if you think these rumors have truth to it.
First rumor is : Jessie Bates will be the Bengals return man.
This rumor I will have to agree with.
The Bengals reached out to three possible return men and Jessie Bates has to be one of them.
They might even have Darius Phillips as a return man too.
I believe he will have to win the position though.
They are tired of waiting for Alex Erickson to break the big long return to the house. Jessie Bates has proven at a college level he can do it time and again. That is why Darius Phillips is in the mix. He is a touchdown magnet.
Jessie Bates was outstanding in rookie camp on returns.
Second rumor is : Will Jordan Evans start in week 1?
The only reason why he would start is because of Vontaze Burfict being out.
In his rookie season last year, he started out very bad but after the second Steeler game he started to look like a seasoned vet.
I like him more than Malik Jefferson. Jefferson needs to earn everything that comes to him just like everyone else.
I see Evans starting at outside linebacker with Nick Virgil on the other side. Then I see Preston Brown in the middle.
Third rumor is : The Bengals will receive three compensatory picks in 2019.
NFL.com thinks this is true and I believe they should also.
It should be three 6th round picks.
They lost Andre Smith and AJ McCarron due to free agency. (key losses)
They only gained as a key factor Preston Brown in free agency.
Fourth rumor is : Is Geno Atkins a top five DT?
This rumor should not even be a rumor.
The rumor should be is a top three DT.
Even then he is.
It is fair to say the only one better than Geno Atkins right now is Aaron Donald.
Five rumor is : Should Jordan Willis be a starting defensive end?
It pained me to see the Bengals still relying on Micheal Johnson.
Jordan Willis is a favorite of Teryl Austin because of his size and ability to go with that size.
Honestly I like Willis better as a starter than Carl Lawson because Lawson is a passing down player where Willis can play every down.
These are the five rumors. Please leave comments if you want to add to the discussion. There will be more rumors next week.
Mike Brown gave Marvin Lewis a two-year contract extension. They also gave Lewis a few new faces on the coaching staff. Things need to be turned around now.
Realistically this is what needs to happen. Marvin Lewis has two years to get things done. It all starts with him. In the first year he needs to show improvement. We can’t realistically say the Bengals will win a playoff or even go to the playoffs without seeing any of the additions the Bengals made play a single snap yet.
First thing is first, they need to build up the biggest need they needed the past two years. That is their offensive line. They beefed it up with the trade made with the Buffalo Bills to get Cordy Glenn at Tackle. They grabbed Billy Price former center of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first round of the 2018 draft. They totally eliminated some players like Russell Bodine and Andre Smith. They also have an offensive line coach, Frank Pollack ,that can evaluate every lineman the Bengals have and place them where their talent lies.
The establishment of a new reconstructed offensive line can do plenty that the Bengals couldn’t do last year. An improved offensive line will give Joe Mixon the validity of being the running back we all know he can be. He played limited playing time and went over 700 yards and that’s with a terrible offensive line. Imagine what Mixon can do with an improved line.
A new offensive line will give Andy Dalton more time. The last two years he has been sacks the second most in the NFL. His numbers have been going down since the absence of Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler. He needs the passing lanes opened up. Andy Dalton plays better inside the pocket because his accuracy is never quite there when he is rolling out. This will also open up play action passing when the run gets more respect.
The other part that needs to be focused on this year is the talent of the wide receivers. John Ross only appeared in three games and had one catch and fumbled it. The key is make sure John Ross puts his rookie year behind him. It is in the past. He should have been honest about his healing time. Now that he has had the time to heal that new offensive line should help all the receivers.
The Bengals have been missing the talent of two great receivers lost in the off-season after 2015. Marvin Jones is the Detroit Lions number one receiver now. Mohamed Sanu is the Falcons third receiver. They need to get the talent of the Bengals receiver core straight. There is a huge amount of talent with no identity with the exception of AJ Green of course.
With all the additions to the offense and a new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin the Bengals should improve this year. Next year with adding even more to the roster Marvin Lewis has no choice but to win that elusive playoff game.
The Buffalo Bills just cut Richie Incognito. Is it worth the Cincinnati Bengals time to look into him?
This has been an emotional week for former Buffalo Bills guard Richie Incognito. He is 34 years old and nearing retirement. He was placed on the reserve/retirement list and just recently got removed from the list by cutting him on Monday. Now he can try to pick up work as a free agent. When he was released everyone was going wild especially for Bengal fans. Now there is a slight problem that just happened today.
Two days after being cut by the former Buffalo Bills guard Richie Incognito had been arrested for commotion at a Florida gym. He through some dumbbells down on a fit of rage. As of now he is undergoing a physiological evaluation.
In just a few days time teams that needed an experienced guard wanted him and now he may have killed his chances of continuing his career.
Richie Incognito was a four-time Pro-bowler. He was named to the Pro-bowl in the last three years with the Buffalo Bills and once with the Miami Dolphins. He has gotten better and better with age.
Should the Bengals think about picking him up. If he is cleared psychologically he can finish his career as a Bengal. The Bengals need skilled guard play along with the young talents they already have at guard. Keep in mind Incognito played as a All-pro for an offense that ranked high on the top ten offenses in rushing the past four years.
Here is the hardship to this. What would you rather want? Would you pay a soon to be retired All-pro for maybe a 2 year deal. Would you pay for a younger player that never lived up to his potential that would require more money. Would you rather save money and go with your young talents at guard with the help of Frank Pollack to guide them?
Yesterday this site mentioned Luke Joeckel which would be the example of a younger player not living up to his potential. With the right coach he can be a star. Now I think Richie Incognito could be a better plan. Sign him for a couple million a year for two years and have the younger talents feed off his knowledge.
This will be an ongoing process. When Incognito gets cleared I’m sure teams will be knocking down his door.
Everyone knows DE Carlos Dunlap is in a contract year. He does not want to take the chance of injury during the OTAs.
Carlos Dunlap is in a huge contract year with the Cincinnati Bengals. He is set to make $7.3 million this year. This contract has been a huge team discount. He averaged $8 million a year when clearly he should be a $20 million a year player. That is what he is hoping for.
Carlos Dunlap will not take the chance of injury during the OTAs. It is a good decision seems a note worthy player have already fallen at the start of OTAs. The Tight End of the LA Chargers Hunter Henry tore his ACL during OTAs and will be out for the season. Dunlap and the Cincinnati Bengals realize how cheap they were getting Dunlap for. There definitely is a need to keep him out till Pre-season starts. He will work out and stay healthy on his own. He can’t afford to get injured during OTAs which is not required to participate in.