In case you missed it on Tuesday, Dan Hoard posted a piece on Bengals.com concerning the bulking up of former UDFA linebacker Emmanuel Lamur. According to the article, Lamur's impressive weight gain--he showed up to OTAs twelve pounds heavier than his 2012 playing weight--was the direct result of hard work and his mom's Haitian home cooking.
It's a great feel-good story and yet another reminder of the abundance of talent on this year's Bengals roster.
Yet, although the article was primarily centered on Lamur, there was one small quote from linebacker coach Paul Guenther that really stood out. It was like a tiny fleck of information gold in an otherwise information-starved offseason. And it was about what the Bengals plan to do with the position in 2013.
"Emmanuel is fighting for a starting job," said Guenther. "We have him with the first group in the nickel (defense) right now and he’ll be a swing guy in our base defense depending on the team that we play. If we play a spread-out team, he might be on the field a little bit more in the base. Right now he’s working at the two outside linebacker spots because he knows both of them."
Granted, this is all very premature and we won't really know anything for sure until the team actually takes the field for their first regular season game, but this quote sounds an awful lot like what many Bengals fans have been hoping for since news broke of Rey Maualuga's re-signing with the team. Maualuga might be the Bengals' starting linebacker in name, but depending on the down and distance, the game situation, or even just the style of team the defense is facing, Lamur and possibly others might replace him in the base package.
Cue the parting of the heavens and the releasing of doves.
Before we get too carried away though, this is obviously just speculation. Heck, Guenther could even be referring to the aging James Harrison rather than Maualuga. We just don't know yet. But at least the Bengals' coaching staff doesn't appear to just be standing pat at the position.
The situation at linebacker might be a fluid one in 2013, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.