+ It hasn't always been described as being a position that holds the greatest talent and depth. But the Bengals linebacker roster is generating plenty of buzz among the coaching staff and players (all quotes taken from Bengals.com). As it stands today, the Bengals will start Rey Maualuga in the middle, flanked by Vontaze Burfict (WILL) and James Harrison (SAM). During nickel situations, notable during training camp, Maualuga and Harrison come off the field and Emmanuel Lamur jogs into position beside Burfict. Bengals.com asked coaches and players for an impression of the team's linebacker core.
"I can't think of another 4-3 defense where you say they have three better looking guys than what we have. Then you have Lamur, as athletic as he is. You almost have a guy built for all situations. You've got a guy like James you put on the ball; he's done that for years. You've got Burfict who can flow and is a tackling machine. You've got Rey who can fill and a guy like Lamur that can cover."
Hue Jackson on Emmanuel Lamur:
"You're running like a scalded dog," Jackson says. "I love this guy. I love speed. I watch this guy every day. Because he can run, hit and he loves to play the game."
"From front to back, we've got as many quality players as anybody in the league," Newman says of his defense. "The linebacking corps is phenomenal. They make plays in the passing game and the running game. The crazy part is we've got guys that are big and can run. They can hit and they cover. When you talk football, they're all smart as hell, too. You listen to ask them ask questions and when Zim asks questions, they rattle off the answers like nothing. It's impressive."
"They've got so much upside. They're not only physically good. They're very good mentally. Very, very good that way. They look like NFL linebackers. You want guys 6-2 and 240-some pounds. We had some good football players, but their bodies never matured as much as you would have hoped."