While Domata Peko admirably stepped into a leadership position during this tumultuous off-season, the mantle should soon pass to Rey Maualuga. Rey plays the right position and has the right look and personality to the leader of the defense. He certainly does not lack for confidence.
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Now, in his third year, Rey is making the transition to middle linebacker, replacing the effective, yet rarely spectacular Dhani Jones. According to Geoff Hobson, Head Coach Marvin Lewis believes that Rey is "mentally ready to make the move to inside linebacker in his third season."
Rey has yet to record more than 100 tackles or more than a full sack in any season, yet fans and coaches alike expecting more. He was a playmaker in college and the hope is that he will be able to return to those days with the switch to his collegiate position this season. A winner of the Bednarik award while at USC, given to the nations top defensive player, Rey obviously has the skill set to be a difference maker on defense. This is extremely crucial in the light of Jonathon Joseph's departure. The Bengals will need Rey to step up now more than ever.
As of now, we have no updates on the potential re-signings of Dhani Jones or Brandon Johnson.
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