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2020 Bengals Defense


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We signed potentially five new starter (Reader, V. Bell, Waynes, M. Alexander and Bynes) out of 11 players; that’s 45% of the defense.  Of the returning starters (Dunlap, Atkins, Hubbard, Wm. Jackson, Bates, Pratt S. Williams) six of those can be considered to be average or better players; that’s another 55%.  Then you’ve got OK depth with players like Carl Lawson and Darius Phillips --with that type of defense can you answer this?

  1. Why WILL this be a top ten defense

  2. Why WON’T this be a top ten defense

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6 hours ago, WRAPradio said:

We signed potentially five new starter (Reader, V. Bell, Waynes, M. Alexander and Bynes) out of 11 players; that’s 45% of the defense.  Of the returning starters (Dunlap, Atkins, Hubbard, Wm. Jackson, Bates, Pratt S. Williams) six of those can be considered to be average or better players; that’s another 55%.  Then you’ve got OK depth with players like Carl Lawson and Darius Phillips --with that type of defense can you answer this?

 

  1. Why WILL this be a top ten defense

     

  2. Why WON’T this be a top ten defense

     

I expect the defense to be vastly improved.

 

That said, top ten would be a big jump. 

 

1.) It COULD be because  of the personnel and cultural shift we’re experiencing. The IQ and leadership intangibles that have been added are huge. 

 

2.) It MIGHT NOT be because Lou Anarumo might suck as a DC. It remains to be seen. Also, these guys might need a season to gel to reach potential as a unit.

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25 minutes ago, thezerawkid said:

I expect the defense to be vastly improved.

 

That said, top ten would be a big jump. 

 

1.) It COULD be because  of the personnel and cultural shift we’re experiencing. The IQ and leadership intangibles that have been added are huge. 

 

2.) I MIGHT NOT be because Lou Anarumo might suck as a DC. It remains to be seen. Also, these guys might need a season to gel to reach potential as a unit.

😂😂😂.  He may not be a good DC, I’m hoping with a year of experience he has a second year improvement.

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We will be a top-10 defense because almost half of our starting defense is new and they are better than the players they’re replacing.  Waynes is better thank Kirk, Reader will be our best D-lineman and Bynes is better than Vigil.  On top of that we got younger and faster at LB and adding Vonn Bell is a huge get.   Bates and Bell will make a nice duo and if Hubbard can get a little better and Carl Lawson stays healthy we’ll have a really good mix of DBs and DL.  The LBs will be a huge question mark, but if Bynes and Pratt can stabilize 1st and 2nd down, and any combination of ADG, Wilson and Bailey can play well in coverage we’ll have a solid D.

 

We won’t be a top-10 defense because of the age of our stars and health..  Carlos had arguably his best season last year, but he’s on the wrong side of 30.  Geno has been declining for the last couple of years and I only expect that to continue unfortunately.  Carl Lawson hasn’t proven he can stay healthy and without him we really don’t have a pass rush.  On top of those two things, Will Jackson had one good year (his rookie year) and there’s a lot of inexperience at the LB position.  

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It all depends on the DC obviously. All NFL teams have talented players, it depends on what Lou does with them. That's why the Pats always have a solid defense with no big names. 

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Everyone assumes the new guys are all better.  We've thought that before.  If there are several rookies starting it's hard to expect a lot.  Hopefully they can improve to league average.  The biggest help they may get is a better offense that keeps them off the field.

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15 hours ago, Hooky said:

It all depends on the DC obviously. All NFL teams have talented players, it depends on what Lou does with them. That's why the Pats always have a solid defense with no big names. 

Hmmmm....I don't know about that.  It's not like the Bengals cast-offs are out there tearing up the league.  Been some pretty crappy draft picks at LB.

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21 hours ago, Hooky said:

It all depends on the DC obviously. All NFL teams have talented players, it depends on what Lou does with them. That's why the Pats always have a solid defense with no big names. 

 Stephon Gilmore is a big name.  

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9 hours ago, UncleEarl said:

Everyone assumes the new guys are all better.  We've thought that before.  If there are several rookies starting it's hard to expect a lot.  Hopefully they can improve to league average.  The biggest help they may get is a better offense that keeps them off the field.

Several rookies starting? 
 

Who are they?

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9 hours ago, UncleEarl said:

"IF" 

 

Thinking LB.

They start 2 LBers basically in the 3-4 (or 5-2 if you prefer) that Anarumo runs. Those starters will be Pratt and Bynes. I would expect Wilson to push Bynes for starting by mid-season, but there should not be any rookies starting on defense when the year kicks off. The front is Dunlap/Atkins/Reader/Tupou/Hubbard likely - Dunlap and Hubbard your ends/outside backers in Anarumo's system (or Dunlap/Atkins/Reader/Hubbard/Lawson if you prefer w/ Dunlap and Lawson the ends/outside backers). Then the 2 true LBers. Then the 4 DBs. No rookie starters. 

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11 hours ago, UncleEarl said:

"IF" 

 

Thinking LB.

Gotcha. I'm thinking we probably have one rookie LB "starting," and maybe not even that. I see a lot more two linebacker sets, a continuation of last year, a lot more three safeties or additional CB. 

 

We have Pratt performing at a high level. I don't think Josh Bynes was brought in to not be on the field. All that to say, I don't think we will be depending on Wilson for a huge number of snaps. Best case scenario, he hits camp, takes command, and it translates to the field and he pushes Pratt and Bynes for time. 

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6 hours ago, membengal said:

They start 2 LBers basically in the 3-4 (or 5-2 if you prefer) that Anarumo runs. Those starters will be Pratt and Bynes. I would expect Wilson to push Bynes for starting by mid-season, but there should not be any rookies starting on defense when the year kicks off. The front is Dunlap/Atkins/Reader/Tupou/Hubbard likely - Dunlap and Hubbard your ends/outside backers in Anarumo's system (or Dunlap/Atkins/Reader/Hubbard/Lawson if you prefer w/ Dunlap and Lawson the ends/outside backers). Then the 2 true LBers. Then the 4 DBs. No rookie starters. 

 

Good points. But I am going to disagree a bit on the front.

 

Yeah, we played SOME 3-4 (5-2) defense, but not that much. Basically, a lot in short yardage, or vs run heavy teams, like Baltimore. 3 NT/DT types. 2 EDGE (DE/OLB) types.

 

Of course, with our terrible LBs and Lawson hurt, those EDGE guys were almost always Dunlap & Hubbard, so it looks like (and is) 5 d-lineman. I think some of our rookie LBs could play some EDGE this year (ADG, + 1 of the UDFAs).

 

We are in Nickel a majority of the time. 5 DBs. 2 LBs. 4 man front. That is going to be Bynes & Pratt to start the year, and on early downs. Later in the year, I can see Wilson pushing either to start. Or on obvious passing downs, I could see both LBs being coverage guys (Pratt, Wilson, ADG, Bailey). Or even a S moving down into a LB spot (likely Bell).

 

But then you are talking Dime. 6 DBs. Several varities possible. 3 safeties, with one playing de facto LB or not. Or 4 corners. Cannot really have 5 lineman in that set. Unless you have safeties in for both LBs (Bell and Williams). 

 

But that is going to be in super-obvious passing situations. Which likely takes us to Quarter (7 DBS) or Dollar (8 DBs). Cannot play 5 lineman in those. Have to play 3 in Dollar.

 

We played a bit of base 4-3 last year. Not much. Weak LBs again. Mostly early down stuff vs running teams or shorter yardage.

 

Anyway, my poorly-made, long-winded point is that I cannot see 5 lineman as "starters" on D. We just do not run that front enough (25%-30% max). And when we ARE in it, I think you will see more true LBs/EDGE guys as the OLBs on the line of scrimmage rather than DEs standing up. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anarumo has confirmed that is their non-nickel base set - what we called a 5-2 he calls a 3-4.  The nickel has the best chance of seeing some time for rookie LBers early in the season. I could see Wilson there quickly in coverage replacing Bynes. 

 

Here's Matt Minich with a long video breakdown of the issue:

 

https://www.cincyjungle.com/2020/1/18/21069613/chalk-talk-were-the-bengals-running-a-3-4-defense-heres-what-i-saw

 

And an even longer breakdown from him:

 

https://www.cincyjungle.com/2020/5/14/21256534/chalk-talk-thoroughly-breaking-down-the-structure-of-the-bengals-defense

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I think the “5-2” looks were mostly because we didn’t have many/any decent linebackers. I think the sooner the young guys show they can play the less 5 d-lineman looks we’ll see. 

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I think that we will see an exotic new defensive alignment when we face the Ravens...with someone like ADG spying Jackson.  We’re going to show the rest of the league how to slow them down.

 

[I can dream, can’t I?]  :shrug: 

 

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1 hour ago, Cricket said:

I think that we will see an exotic new defensive alignment when we face the Ravens...with someone like ADG spying Jackson.  We’re going to show the rest of the league how to slow them down.

 

[I can dream, can’t I?]  :shrug: 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
15 hours ago, SF2 said:

The reason this is a 6 win team will be the defense,...period.

 

Are you saying the offense will be bad so the only reason we'll win some games is because of the defense, or we'll ONLY win 6 games because the defense will be bad?

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 Because the defense will be bad.  Rookie QB will struggle at times but the 30th ranked defense still has too many holes 

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