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The Bengals are Apparently Happy With Their Safety Situation -- Are you?

When we talk about the Cincinnati Bengals and their biggest weakness on defense, 90 percent of the time, we talk about the safety position. It's been the weak point of Mike Zimmer's defense for a few years now. 

When the Bengals announced that they signed former Buffalo Bills safety Donte Whitner (and when the idiot Whitner announced it himself), it seemed that the Bengals had found somebody that would not only obviously start as the teams safety, but that there would finally be some depth at the position. Of course, Whitner signed with the 49ers instead and left the bengals right back at square one.

It seems that the team's secondary coach, Kevin Coyle, and the rest of the Bengals are happy with square one, though.

"I think Chris and Reggie have been doing a good job," secondary coach Kevin Coyle said. "The attitude has been great. It's not like we have a bunch of guys who haven't played before."

As of right now, the team's two starting safeties will be Chris Crocker and Reggie Nelson. Crocker will be backed up by Jeromy Miles and Gibril Wilson and Nelson will be backed up by Tom Nelson and rookie Robert Sands.

It's not like Crocker and Nelson can't get the job done, though. The problem is that the safety position in Cincinnati has been notorious lately for getting bitten by the injury bug. 

In the three years that Crocker has been a Bengal, he has not played a full season. The closest he got was in 2009 when he played in 13 games. In 2008, though, he played in only eight and in 2010 he played in nine.

The team's other safety, Roy Williams, was just as bad. The 12 games he played in 2010 was the most time he spent on the field since the end of the 2007 season. In 2008, his last year with the Cowboys, he played in only three games and in 2009, his first year with the Bengals, he played in only four.

Nelson came in last year and played both the free safety and strong safety positions to help fill in for injured players, and even though he was signed primarily to help the team recover from injuries last season, he is confident that he can be a starter for the Bengals.

"I'm very comfortable with the defense. I came in late last season and got a chance to study the playbook slower instead of them throwing it at me," Nelson said. "I think I played good over the last three games. There are some things I could have done way better, but that's why we're in camp."

Crocker, on the other hand, knows that the secret to the safety position not being the achilles heal of the defense anymore is that he and Nelson both need to stay healthy.

"I feel like we're going to have a good year if we can stay healthy," Crocker said.

Coyle did point out that the market for free agent safeties isn't necessarily empty and that Bengals aren't done looking to add depth at the safety position, he just feels that Nelson and Crocker are more than capable of getting the job done.

"It's not bare. You're always looking to improve and if there's someone out who's better, who we feel can help us, then we'll be looking," Coyle said. "Right now I think we've got guys. We lost a couple players and we need to replace those guys. We don't have to replace them with experience, we need to replace with guys who can play at that level or better."

Hopefully Crocker and Nelson can stay healthy in 2011 and it would also be nice to see recently drafted Robert Sands on the field at times to see what the team has in the former Mountaineer. What would also be nice would be to see the Bengals pass rush, made up of Carlos Dunlap, Michael Johnson, Geno Atkins, Dontay Moch and more find their way to the quarterback quickly. If there's anything that can make a safety's or a cornerback's job easier, it's a strong pass rush.