Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins is finally getting his due. As a third-year player entering his fourth season, many NFL pundits and analysts are realizing that Atkins is one of, if not THE, best defensive tackle in the game.
For his part, Atkins continues to get better, to improve, thanks to words of wisdom from former Bengals defensive tackle Tank Johnson.
"This is the strongest I've been going into a training camp,"says Atkins via Bengals.com. "I remember what Tank Johnson told me when I was a rookie. Get as fast and as strong as you can going into training camp. Each year my goal is to make sure I'm stronger and faster than I was the year before."
That's good. Because if what Atkins says comes true, then they'll need every bit of his improvement.
"Each year they talk about the Patriots," he says. "How they're a first-class organization. They win X amount of games. Baltimore. We strive to be great. We're trying to win a Super Bowl. I think the road to the Super Bowl is in the AFC North. We play in the toughest division. Pittsburgh. Baltimore. The Cleveland Browns. We beat each other up. The last two years, it's been close."
Until Cincinnati's week 16 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati was 0-6 against the Steelers and Ravens since 2011. At present, they've beaten the aging Steelers and a backup squad in Baltimore when playoff seedings were already slotted by week 17 to conclude 2012.