Rey Maualuga stunk during the team's postseason loss last year. He wasn't sure that they'd want him back, but the Bengals signed him to a two-year contract anyway.
When the question of where Maualuga would play was posed in March, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis reiterated that Maualuga would start in the middle with Vontaze Burfict starting on the weakside (after all, when a player generates 174 tackles as an undrafted rookie, it might be advisable to change that up all of the sudden).
But defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer wasn't so automatic to label Rey Maualuga's future during the Bengals media luncheon on Tuesday.
Zimmer on Maualuga:" I understand where his flaws and weaknesses are. But I believe that he will be our starting middle linebacker."— Brad Johansen (@bradjohansen) July 23, 2013
Now admittedly, maybe we're just looking for any excuse to promote doubt. Is there more of a wait-and-see approach with Maualuga than what we've been led to believe? Maybe, just maybe, the Bengals move Burfict inside and start Emmanuel Lamur as the weakside backer.
An "I believe" (what someone will do) is hardly defined as concrete decision-making, and not something Mike Zimmer is accustomed to saying if he's sold on his convictions.
Either way, our eyes perked up a little. Or we made a small deal out of nothing.