College: Ohio State
Hometown: Toledo, OH
NFL Experience: 4 Years
Dane Sanzenbacher was a last minute Christmas gift from the Bears to the Bengals in 2012. Cut on Christmas eve by the Bears, he was opened by the Bengals on Christmas morning. From there he was promptly put on the shelf and left to gather dust.
Sanzenbacher did have the opportunity to sign and play with the Bengals the entire 2013 season. In the preseason Dane did plenty to showcase what kind of player he could be in the NFL. In fact, he led the entire squad in receiving with 5 catches for 100 yards. He also added a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown. Count me in the group that thought we would see more of him in the regular season.
However, Dane only recorded offensive stats in 5 games last season. Only against the Jets did he have more than one catch. What he did show in two different catches this season, is what fans of the Ohio State University have been saying all along, the kid can be as clutch as they come.
In Buffalo last season, the Bengals were trying to stage a late comeback but were faced with a 4th down and 15. Andy Dalton floated a 20 yd pass in traffic to Dane Sanzenbacher who hauled it in one handed to save the Bengals drive. Sanzenbacher had a similar game saving situation in Detroit that set up a game winning field goal for the Bengals.
The Bengals re-signed restricted free agent WR Dane Sanzenbacher to a one-year, $1.2 million contract. Sanzenbacher probably will have a greater impact on special teams as a gunner on punts than he will on the Bengals offense. Bengals wide receiver coach James Urban had the following to say about Dane:
"Dane is a player with an instinctive feel for the game,and he should have the chance for more playing time this year than we were able to find for him last year. He's got assets that can help make us better."
So what will be Sanzenbachers role for the Bengals in 2014? When I had the chance to ask him that very question his answer was short and very honest. "I don't know" he told me. I am of the opinion that as we see him become more comfortable in this offense and more trusted as one of Andy Dalton's outs, we will continue to see the type of plays as we have in the past from Dane. Hopefully just more of them.