By LaDonna Williams
Will this season be another disappointment for the Cincinnati Bengals? I will give my prediction for that later on. Right now let’s focus on the team for the moment. One of the first things that should be mentioned is the fact the Bengals will be without their offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. As he left the team and took the head coaching job in Cleveland. Bengals hired Ken Zampese as the new offensive coordinator who used to be their quarterback coach. He also used to be the Rams O.C. in the early 2000’s when they were really good.
Losses for the team
The Bengals did lose some key players this season. They lost two of their wide receivers Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu. Marvin Jones, who had 816 yards, and 4 touchdowns last season for the team. Sanu, who had 394 yards, no receiving touchdowns, but did have two rushing touchdowns. On their defense, they lost their top safety Reggie Nelson whom led the NFL with eight interceptions last season.
Additions to the team.
Bengals were able to re-sign safety George Iloka, who is one of the league’s best at his position and corner back Adam Jones, both played a big part of the Bengals defense. They were also able to re-sign wide receiver Brandon Tate, running back Giovani Bernard and exercised a contract option on tight end Tyler Eifert. They added free agents, to their team wide receiver Brandon Lafell, and linebacker Karlos Dansby. This isn’t including signing all their draft picks, which included cornerback William Jackson.
Issues they may have.
There are a few issues I think the Bengals may have this upcoming season. The first issue is their running backs. Don’t get me wrong Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill are good at their position. These two need to stay consistent the whole season, and not just part time. The second issue is Andy Dalton needs more than two options to throw to. Brandon Tate is just a mediocre player. Then there is Lafell who is a better option that Tate, but he is so inconsistent. Yes, he had 500 yards last year with the Patriots. Those numbers came because every wide receiver and their tight end got hurt. The biggest issue the Bengals have is their number one draft pick William Jackson is already hurt. He suffered a torn pectoral muscle and will likely be out for three to four months.
With so many changes happening to their offense and within their coaching staff this may be a bumpy ride for the Bengals. Their schedule strength is one of the easiest in the league this upcoming season. With that being said, their toughest division opponent will the Pittsburgh Steelers. I think they can win their division going 11-5.
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