CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 02: Stevie Johnson #13 of the Buffalo Bills is defended by Reggie Nelson #20 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the game at Paul Brown Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Reggie Nelson, who starts at safety for the Cincinnati Bengals, is set to face his former team this week when the Bengals play the Jacksonville Jaguars. Nelson was drafted in the first round (21st overall) by the Jaguars in the 2007 NFL draft. He played well in his rookie year, but eventually fell out of favor in Jacksonville due to his perceived weakness in playing the run and his penchant for missed tackles. The Bengals were able to send cornerback David Jones to Jacksonville for Nelson during the 2010 preseason. When asked about how he feels about facing his former team, Nelson had this to say:
"I’m putting Jacksonville behind me. I’m all about the Bengals. It’s just like any other game. We’re practicing hard. Just because I’m going back to Jacksonville doesn’t mean anything. I’ve still got a job to do. It’s not going to be a family reunion. I’m going to be happy to see the guys, but at the end of the day we’ve got a job to do. We’ve just got to keep focusing on our team and our defense. That’s just about it. It doesn’t matter what we’re ranked. We’ve got to keep playing. It’s only week four."
Nelson has been an integral part of the Bengals number one ranked defense so far this year. He has always been able to play the pass well and continues to do so. His ability to stop the run has been a pleasant surprise for most Bengals fans. Nelson has been a fearless tackler and more often than not is able to get the ball carrier down to the ground. He is currently second only to Rey Maualuga in tackles. I think it is pretty safe to say that the Bengals ended up with the better end of that deal.