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Bengals' Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap frustrated with being phased out of game plan


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https://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/nfl/bengals/2020/10/19/cincinnati-bengals-geno-atkins-carlos-dunlap-frustrated-roles/3707697001/

 

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Bengals' Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap frustrated with being phased out of game plan

Tyler Dragon

Cincinnati Enquirer

 

Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap, two patriarchs on the Cincinnati Bengals’ defense, are being phased out of the team’s defensive game plan.

 

According multiple sources, Atkins and Dunlap are frustrated with their lack of playing time. Atkins and Dunlap are miffed by the team’s defensive philosophy and approach. They have basically been demoted to third-down specialists.

 

“He played on third downs,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said of Atkins after Sunday's 31-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. “He was in there on third downs, I know that.” 

 

Atkins was on the field for 18 snaps and Dunlap was in for 28 defensive plays in the Week 6 loss. Dunlap was the only one of the two to appear in the stat column. He registered one tackle.

 

 

The Bengals started defensive tackle Xavier Williams over Atkins and defensive end Amani Bledsoe instead of Dunlap in Week 6. Williams was just signed by the team last week and Bledsoe began the year as a practice squad player. Williams logged 34 snaps and Bledsoe was in for 29 plays.

 

Sources told The Enquirer, the Bengals coaching staff approached Dunlap and Atkins and said their limited role is “what’s best for the team” going forward. Multiple players inside the locker room are wondering why Dunlap and Atkins have been relegated to situational players. The two veterans have combined for 10 Pro Bowls.

 

Atkins was invited to his eighth Pro Bowl as recently as last year. His eight career Pro Bowls are the most ever by a Bengals defender. Dunlap was twice named AFC Defensive Player of the Week in 2019. Dunlap is one sack shy of tying the Bengals’ franchise record.

Dunlap started the first four games of the regular season. He had nine tackles in Week 3 and one tackle and a pass deflection in Week 4. Leading up to the Week 5 tilt in Baltimore, Dunlap was first told of his demotion and publicly voiced his disapproval. He’s played a backup role ever since.  

 

Atkins made his season debut in Week 5 after missing the first four games due to a shoulder injury. He played in just 19 snaps versus the Ravens despite Cincinnati being thin at defensive tackle. The 11-year veteran has been on the field an average of 30% of the team’s defensive snaps in two games.  

 

Even though the Bengals have reduced the roles of both Atkins and Dunlap, the team is reluctant to trade either of them at this point, per sources. The NFL trade deadline is Nov. 3. A more likely scenario is the team moving on from the two during the offseason if there's no resolution. The Bengals would save $9.6 million if they released Atkins before June 1 and $11.25 million if they cut ties with Dunlap before June 1.

 

 

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One of my (and many others) biggest beefs with Marvin Lewis is that he coddled the veterans while favoring them, playing them over rookies and younger players even when they weren't producing.  

Honestly speaking, who cares? Next man up. Ass, gas or cash, no one rides for free.   Those six players over six games have accounted for: On Offense: 52 Targets, 24 Receptions, 232 Yar

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2 minutes ago, Griever said:

ah, just what we needed, a mutiny 

Maybe it is just what the team needs. I do find it interesting that it seems to be the veterans all whining...Dunlap, Green, Atkins, Williams...

 

Maybe these guys don’t like to be held accountable.

 

I will say that although I slagged him in the G/B/U thread that I’d like to see more Geno. He’s been wildly underwhelming since his return but I’m not quite ready to give up on one of the best defensive players to ever wear the stripes.

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Funny how it’s all Marvin holdovers.

Im fine moving on from Zac Taylor but I want all of the Marvin guys gone with him.
Can’t have a new culture, regardless of who the coach is, with those guys still around. 

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Not seeing how a free agent signed off the street this week is a better option than a ProBowl option in Geno. I frankly don’t trust this coaching staff to say this is best for the team. I get it more with Dunlap because there *were* better options with Lawson and Hubbard. But DT has been decimated with injuries and the coaches think Geno is best suited for 3rd down pass rush options. Gimme a break. 

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9 minutes ago, SF2 said:

Still, to have guys who have been quality players and teammates go public is NOT good.  

Right, if the Zac regime is gonna stick around (and it probably will for at least one more year) this is a real bad look. This is exactly the type of dysfunctional shit that i didn't want our QB of the future to be subject to.

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9 minutes ago, SF2 said:

Still, to have guys who have been quality players and teammates go public is NOT good.  

That’s for sure. I was content giving Taylor a pass this year but now not so much. When a coach loses the locker room it’s just best to move on

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We should have saw this coming from a mile away.

ZT basically took over the same team that ML had some success with.

Can't win close games, getting blown out, will always bring out the ugly in players

Veterans can see that ZT and his staff have no clue in what they are doing.

It's going to get uglier

 

We have to hope JB doesn't go Mel Gibson's Mr. Christian on Captain Bligh (Anthony Hopkins) in "The Bounty"

 

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3 hours ago, spicoli said:

Funny how it’s all Marvin holdovers.

Im fine moving on from Zac Taylor but I want all of the Marvin guys gone with him.
Can’t have a new culture, regardless of who the coach is, with those guys still around. 

Almost everyone on the field is a Marvin holdover.  These guys act like they have been kicking ass the last 3 years.  The d is ranked 25th right now.  In 2019 they were 29th.  2018 they were 32nd. Being the leader of a terrible unit doesn’t mean shit or give you a pass.  
 

Totally agree, they had their chances and blew it. 2015 was unforgivable.  At least Cleveland still hasn’t found a QB. 

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5 hours ago, palmer4mvp said:

Not seeing how a free agent signed off the street this week is a better option than a ProBowl option in Geno. I frankly don’t trust this coaching staff to say this is best for the team. I get it more with Dunlap because there *were* better options with Lawson and Hubbard. But DT has been decimated with injuries and the coaches think Geno is best suited for 3rd down pass rush options. Gimme a break. 

Amen.

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It's certainly a worrying situation.  But in my mind, these players have been well paid and its time to get on with showing up on Sunday.

 

Something is wrong in the locker room, personally think it is the ageing vets not liking the "new" team and ways of doing things.  

 

Yet, I also agree with "how" is bringing bums off the street better than Atkins???

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One of my (and many others) biggest beefs with Marvin Lewis is that he coddled the veterans while favoring them, playing them over rookies and younger players even when they weren't producing.

 

Zac Taylor has not done this, benching or reducing playing time and/or the role of guys like Andy Dalton, John Ross, Shawn Williams, Carlos Dunlap, Darius Phillips, AJ Green and Geno Atkins. The message to me is, no job is safe, work hard and produce or you're not going to play.

 

Say what you like but, I am behind him on this. If you want to play, do something more than cry about shit on your social media accounts.

 

The team has sucked for years with these guys as leaders. If they don't want to be here, trade them. I'm sure the defense can finish in the bottom five and they can win seven or less games with or without them the same way they've been doing it the past five years. 

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10 minutes ago, BengalFanInTO said:

One of my (and many others) biggest beefs with Marvin Lewis is that he coddled the veterans while favoring them, playing them over rookies and younger players even when they weren't producing.

 

Zac Taylor has not done this, benching or reducing playing time and/or the role of guys like Andy Dalton, John Ross, Shawn Williams, Carlos Dunlap, Darius Phillips, AJ Green and Geno Atkins. The message to me is, no job is safe, work hard and produce or you're not going to play.

 

Say what you like but, I am behind him on this. If you want to play, do something more than cry about shit on your social media accounts.

 

The team has sucked for years with these guys as leaders. If they don't want to be here, trade them. I'm sure the defense can finish in the bottom five and they can win seven or less games with or without them the same way they've been doing it the past five years. 

You nailed it my friend...

Clean these overpriced underperforming babies outta here..

 

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58 minutes ago, BengalFanInTO said:

One of my (and many others) biggest beefs with Marvin Lewis is that he coddled the veterans while favoring them, playing them over rookies and younger players even when they weren't producing.

 

Zac Taylor has not done this, benching or reducing playing time and/or the role of guys like Andy Dalton, John Ross, Shawn Williams, Carlos Dunlap, Darius Phillips, AJ Green and Geno Atkins. The message to me is, no job is safe, work hard and produce or you're not going to play.

 

Say what you like but, I am behind him on this. If you want to play, do something more than cry about shit on your social media accounts.

 

The team has sucked for years with these guys as leaders. If they don't want to be here, trade them. I'm sure the defense can finish in the bottom five and they can win seven or less games with or without them the same way they've been doing it the past five years. 

The only caveat to this is - when ML acted in this way there were seemingly good young players who could have played more if he let them. Right now, we have shit for depth so who takes these guys places?

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38 minutes ago, I_C_Deadpeople said:

The only caveat to this is - when ML acted in this way there were seemingly good young players who could have played more if he let them. Right now, we have shit for depth so who takes these guys places?

Would you rather play an old guy who isn't producing and likely won't be here next year, or a young guy who isn't producing, but might get better with time?

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