The Bengals brought in a lot of new players on defense this offseason and they’ve had to integrate those players into their system without the benefit of in-person work.
Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo said the team’s been doing a lot of “pop quizzes” and working on creative ways to keep players mentally engaged during their remote offseason program. So far, he’s seen the results he’s looking for from the team’s veteran additions.
“The new guys have communicated well,” Anarumo said, via Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “D.J. Reader has spoke up in the d-line meetings. Josh Bynes has done a good job as a veteran communicating in the linebacker meetings. In the backend, you have a bunch of guys who like to stick their chest out, if you will, in Vonn Bell and Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander. All those guys have done well.”
Like many people, Anarumo spent some of his non-working hours watching ESPN’s The Last Dance documentary about the Michael Jordan-era Bulls. As a Knicks fan, it roused some bad memories but it also made him realize there will be things he can’t know about his team at this point.
“Until we get out there in practice and something doesn’t go the way it’s supposed to, like when you saw in The Last Dance with Jordan, when it’s not going right that’s when you’re going to find out who you got,” Anarumo said.
That’s unlikely to come until training camp, so there’s still time for Bengals players to brush up on the Jordan rules before getting together with Anarumo.