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News » Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2009-03-27

Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2009-03-27

Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2009-03-27
While a lot of attention during the Bengals' offseason has been devoted to its problems last year on offense, there are still some improvements that the team has to make on defense.

Notably, they need to generate some semblance of a pass rush.

While the Bengals did rank 12th in the league in total defense last year, they had just 17 sacks, narrowly missing the franchise record of 16 set in their second season of 1969.

"It's a combination of things. Number one, we have to do everything we can to improve the guys that we have," coach Marvin Lewis said. "It's a progression. The first thing we need to do is stop the run and then get a pass rush. There's a transition of steps to do that.

"When I was with Baltimore in 2000 we got plenty of sacks and then the next season we played better but didn't get nearly as many. The one defensive stat that hasn't converted to a Super Bowl championship has been who has the most sacks.

"We certainly have a long ways to go. We need to be in the range of 35-40 a season and we certainly have not had that the past couple seasons."

The Bengals were one of six teams in the AFC last season to allow less than four yards per carry last season (3.9).

If the Bengals' preferable choice of an offensive tackle is not available in the first round, they could go for help on the defensive line. Boston College's B.J. Raji or Texas' Brian Orakpo could be available.

Two other factors could also help the Bengals get more sacks -- a healthier Antwan Odom and Keith Rivers. Odom, who was signed in free agency last year, had three sacks but played in only 12 games due to a series of injuries while Rivers saw action in only seven games after suffering a broken jaw.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 27, 2009

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