When linebacker Dan Skuta left for San Francisco and Manny Lawson signed a four-year deal with the Buffalo Bills, the Bengals lost something. Neither player were all-star contributors on defense, but their special teams work helped Cincinnati become of one the best units in the NFL.
However those departures opened a need to find a new special teams captain. And the player that's likely to earn that title, will be tough to beat.
Meet linebacker Vincent Rey.
"Vinnie can get in there and play any of the spots; he's such a leader on the football team,"Lewis said via Bengals.com. "He's kind of the captain of the special teams. He basically assumes the role that Skuta had."
Rey, who hasn't missed a game in two seasons, finished third with 12 special teams tackles last season. His 112 snaps on defense was clearly a career-high and when Thomas Howard went down before the second game of the season, Rey rotated with Vontaze Burfict at WILL linebacker.
But it's through special teams that Rey makes the 53-man roster.
"Guys respect Vinnie because of how hard he works,"special teams coach Darrin Simmons said told Bengals.com. "He may not be the most vocal guy, the guy that you follow because of what he says. But you follow him by what he does. He's got the respect of the younger players. He knows everything as well as I do. That's a calming thing."