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Grade the Bengals Offseason: Linebacker

We're taking a look at each position and how the Bengals improved during the offseason, broken down by position. We present, you grade the results. After you grade, present your reasons.

Matt Sullivan
End of 2012: Start of 2013:
Rey Maualuga Rey Maualuga
Vontaze Burfict Vontaze Burfict
Manny Lawson James Harrison
Dan Skuta Emmanuel Lamur
Vincent Rey Vincent Rey
Emmanuel Lamur Sean Porter
Aaron Maybin
J.K. Schaffer
Jayson DiManche
Jordan Campbell
Brandon Joiner
Bruce Taylor

Asking if linebacker depth is better today than at the conclusion of last season would be futile. James Harrison replaced the departing Manny Lawson. Upgrade. Emmanuel Lamur enters the second season with the Dances with Wolves name, "Linebacker who things he's still a safety". A bit wordy. Vontaze Burfict enters the second-year after generating 174 tackles during his rookie campaign and introductions are coming from six additional linebackers.

That's not to say that questions are absent -- most of which we're already approached. Can Rey Maualuga grow from lacking confidence to the mind-set of a closer that disregards previous errors? Can Burfict repeat his rookie season and how will he respond with opposing offenses expected to shift their mindful gaze at him? Brandon Joiner will make his debut, who signed with the team prior to last year's jail sentence.

Questions exist but we find it hard to believe an argument exists in which the Bengals aren't stronger at linebacker this year compared to last.