Bengals Rookie Report: Understanding Cam Taylor-Britt’s Sudden Playing Time

So many this year NFL Draft discourse regarding Cincinnati Bengals participated in the position of defender. Will the team be happy giving Eli Apple the starting position after the ups and downs of the 2021 season, or will the pick come in early in the round and compete for the job?

The answer seemed ambiguous. Cornerback was the second position they applied for in the draft, but the player they selected didn’t have to split reps with Apple. He spent the offseason as a reserve and ended up getting injured right before the start of the preseason. The work belonged to Apple like it was ever in question.

After the Bengals’ week seven victory over Atlanta Falconsthis claim seems to be up for debate whether the coaches are willing to admit it or not.

Cam Taylor-Britt

It’s red shirt season for you.

The first surprise was that Taylor-Britt was active for the first time. The rookie quarterback was about to get dressed after being cleared for training less than a month ago, but no one knew what his expectations were. It was logical to assume that the special teams – he played four snaps there.

No, he ended up taking 28 snaps at fullback, 12 more than starting Eli Apple.

If this was the first step in preparing Taylor-Britt to replace Apple, it was, to put it mildly, aggressive. This, too, was not a reactionary decision. Taylor-Britt came in before Apple was on the wrong end of a 75-yard touchdown and had tough moments too. The Falcons controlled the ball confidently, and the rookie had trouble getting out from under the block. Faced with the ball carrier, Taylor-Britt leveled off and made solid tackles and also knew when he had the advantage.

The Falcons eventually moved into the red zone, where Taylor-Britt was sent off shortly after an illegal contact penalty. It was Taylor-Britt’s most action in his 12 shots and is the main reason for his Pro Football Focus defense score of 37.6.

That Taylor-Britt played so much despite no injuries to Apple or Chidobe Awuzi is indicative of defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo’s major philosophical shift. Just a month ago, Anarumo gave a convincing answer as to why Dux Hill was not replaced as a third quarterback. Secondary is not a place where chemistry and communication can stand when guys are constantly changing.

But in Taylor-Britt’s case, the lack of playing time in the preseason was a big reason why he felt compelled to switch places so quickly.

“In an ideal world, you don’t want to be able to do this, but it’s not an ideal world” Anarumo said on Monday. “You’re in a situation where you have a young guy who didn’t have pre-season. You have pictures of him at some point other than the scout group, so yesterday was a great opportunity.”

It doesn’t seem like a complete coincidence that this happened during the second week in a row for Apple, but Atlanta and their run-oriented offense also represented the perfect opponent to start the Taylor-Britt integration. Expect the same plan to roll out this week vs. Cleveland Brownswho also passionately control the ball.

Verify Matt Minich Cinema Room later this week to see exactly how Taylor-Britt played in his debut.

Cordell Volson

Taylor-Britt may be the headliner, but Walson had a week to watch. It was his best week as a left-back, including a false start at the goal line and a clean 4k loss to Grady Jarrett. It was the only pressure Walson allowed in 45 reps with pass-lock, and he looked just as good in the running game.

Volson is what the player’s linear progress looks like in an ideal world. It happens very rarely, and maybe we’re talking too soon, but since the pre-season, his game has seen a constant increase. His use of his hands seems to be catching up as his processing speed increases and the chemistry he developed with left tackle John Williams and center Ted Karras is evident. We’ll take a closer look tomorrow Weekly Crawler.

Zach Carter

Carter’s 34 shots since Sunday is the most he’s played all season, and his progress has also been clear. He is much better at finding the ball and uses his extension to stack blocks. That drop when folded needs some extra work, as it’s still way too late to cut out occasionally, and the balance still feels like a hindrance.

But look at these representatives. This is what you want to see consistently.

Injuries to DJ Reeder and Josh Tupow gave Carter more reps than he probably expected. For a newcomer playing in several places, it was not an easy task, and in seven weeks the results were not very good, but he is starting to adapt. His next task against the Browns’ formidable offensive line would be a righteous litmus test.

Dax Hill

In one of the two snaps, Hill nearly made a big play by getting in the way of Chidobe Awuzi as the cornerback pressed on the pass. Marcus Mariota thankfully didn’t take advantage and Mike Hilton lost the pass, but the Falcons’ play pattern worked and put Hill at a disadvantage.

Where on the field was Dux Hill?

  • Free Security: one shot
  • slot angle: one shot

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