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Dane Sanzenbacher could push Brandon Tate from the Bengals 53

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With the performance of Dane Sanzenbacher in tonight's game, could the Bengals make the break from Brandon Tate and feel good about the punt return ability on the field?

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

As the Bengals drubbing of the Atlanta Falcons commenced, wide receiver Dan Sanzenbacher made it a point to stand out from many of the other players Thursday night. A guy who has been, at best, a bubble player up to this point in the off-season, Sanzenbacher showed fans, coaches, and probably other teams around the league, some flashes of brilliance.

(Note: I am a huge OSU fan, but Dane did play well tonight)

In many of our roster prognostications, we have Tate on the inside and Sanzenbacher on the outside. Tate often gets the nod because the Bengals seem to rely on him as a starter in the return game. However, Sanzenbacher showed not only to be a sure-handed receiver, he also has some skill in the return game. In the third quarter Sanzenbacher returns a punt 71 yards to the house to put the Bengals up by 17.

One quarter later Sanzenbacher hauls in a 36-yard touchdown from John Skelton, applying speed to outpace the corner during the seemingly easy seem route.

Sure, this is a pre-season game and there is much to still be decided. But, if the Bengals have found a guy that is a solid punt returner and can fill in at wide receiver, don't you think that makes Brandon Tate a little less important? I do.

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