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2010 Cincinnati Bengals Preview- Linebackers

Posted By Adrian Fedkiw On Aug 11 2010 @ 1:28 am In Cincinnati Bengals | No Comments

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.

(Keith Rivers)

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.

GRADE- 7.5

(To see where I ranked the Cincinnati Bengals linebackers, click the links below)

Outside Linebackers- http://yoooadrian.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/yoooadrians-2010-nfl-preview-olb-rankings/ [1]

Inside Linebackers- http://yoooadrian.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/yoooadrians-2010-nfl-preview-ilb-rankings/ [2]


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[1] http://yoooadrian.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/yoooadrians-2010-nfl-preview-olb-rankings/: http://yoooadrian.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/yoooadrians-2010-nfl-preview-olb-rankings/

[2] http://yoooadrian.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/yoooadrians-2010-nfl-preview-ilb-rankings/: http://yoooadrian.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/yoooadrians-2010-nfl-preview-ilb-rankings/

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