Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga has always had a difficult relationship with fans. When he struggled in 2012, highlighted by the first-round loss in the playoffs last year, Maualuga wasn't sure that the coaches would want him back. Fans certainly didn't. Mike Zimmer and Marvin Lewis stood behind him. Asked about fan's frustration by the local media, Maualuga would just claim indifference.
After a little uncertainty, the Bengals signed Maualuga to a two-year deal worth $6.5 million.
And for his part, Maualuga responded in 2013. While his role was reduced into a two-down backer, his run defense improved and the issues that he faced in coverage were protected. You can't struggle in the passing game if you're taken out during obvious passing downs.
At the end of the day, Maualuga reached out to fans via his Facebook page.
I just want to thank all my fans for the support and the love all season. I know many of you are disappointed with the outcome but there's nothing we as a team can do about it now. I'm as frustrated as ever but I know that we'll all get thru this and come back even stronger. This is just God telling us this year was just not our year! I'm gonna work my butt of this offseason and come back even better. I love you guys! Who Dey!