The Bengals linebackers have youth and promise. There is one thing that I’m really curious about, and that’s what they plan to do with Michael Johnson. Johnson is a guy with talent and needs to see the field. The Bengals have moved him around; whether he’s putting his hand on the ground as a defensive end or standing up as an outside linebacker. Currently on the depth chart, Cincinnati has Rey Maualuga playing the strongside, Dhani Jones playing the middle and Keith Rivers playing the weakside. I think these will be the starters to begin the season; but I think by the end of the year Maualuga will move to the middle so Johnson can crack the starting rotation playing an outside linebacker position.
LOLB- Rey Maualuga- 63 tck 1 sck 2 p def 3 ff
Maualuga plays an ultra aggressive style that can benefit and hinder him. The aggression is fine, but he has to cut it down a bit. There were times where he ran himself out of position on some tackles. Nevertheless, he’s a physical player who can set the tone on defense. He is susceptible to the pass.
MLB- Dhani Jones- 113 tck 3.5 sck 4 p def 1 ff
For the 2nd consecutive season, Jones led the team in tackles. He is entering his 11th season in the NFL and is 33. Jones compromises his age by playing with intelligence; I mean he is a poet.
ROLB- Keith Rivers- 72 tck 1 sck 1 int 2 ff
Rivers is a quick player who moves well and is solid against the run. He needs to improve against the pass.
OLB- Michael Johnson- 17 tck 3 sck 5 p def
I feel like Johnson is the “wild-card” of the defense. He is so athletically gifted that I think defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer will try to get him on the field on a more consistent basis than last year. He is an excellent pass-rusher, although he needs to be able to read the run better to get on the field more.
(To see where I ranked the Cincinnati Bengals linebackers, click the links below)
About the Author
Written by Adrian Fedkiw
I currently work for the Sports Network. It's the best job ever! I am a 2010 graduate of Temple University where I majored in broadcast journalism, I LOVE SPORTS! That's why I am here. I have a vast knowledge and want to share my athletic intelligence with the world. Some people like to spend their time shooting down aliens in Halo; I like to spend my time watching sports, current and old. It's my passion! I got asked one time how I can watch a game over again when I already know the outcome. 5 minutes later, he's watching Happy Gilmore reciting all of the lines from the movie. Hypocrite! As for my favorite sports teams, I've been a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan. My favorite athlete is Allen Iverson. He didn't like practice that much, but when it came to gametime, no one let it all out on the floor like Iverson. He is absolutely beloved in the city of Brotherly Love. For college athletics, obviously I pay close attention to Temple. (Yes, football too) Even before I stepped foot on Temple's campus for the 1st time in 2005, I was a fan. Oh the good old days of John Chaney! Some other tidbits about myself, I love cheesesteaks, I hydrate myself with Welch's Grape Juice and Snapple. I love the HBO show Entourage. Also, when is Kenny Powers making his much anticipated return in Eastbound and Down!