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Bengals safety Reggie Nelson still roots for his former team

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Before his trade to Cincinnati, Nelson was born in Florida and played at Palm Bay High School (in Florida), the University of Florida and then Jacksonville. See a trend here?

Grant Halverson

On Sept. 4, 2010, the Cincinnati Bengals sent cornerback David Jones to Jacksonville, along with a conditional draft pick, in exchange for safety Reggie Nelson. During his first season in Cincinnati, Nelson generated a 30.4 opposing quarterback rating, which included two interceptions, four passes defensed and a completion rate allowed below 50 percent. Nelson didn't play defense that year until midway through the season, with his first defensive snaps coming against the Atlanta Falcons. Along with a couple headache-producing hits and a knack for knocking heads with the best of them, Nelson also generated more than five stops, either at the line of scrimmage, or while preventing a third down conversion.

On the other hand, David Jones was removed from the Jaguars secondary by week eight. He played a handful of snaps during the final game of the season; before then, Jones received significant playing time and even started five games. He allowed two touchdowns, picked off a pass and allowed an opposing quarterback rating 114.6.

Nelson settled nicely in Cincinnati's defense, playing 68 games since the trade and recording 13 interceptions, five forced fumbles, two recoveries, a pick-six and 5.5 quarterback sacks. Cincinnati re-signed Nelson to a four-year deal worth $18 million, which will expire after the 2015 season.

Nelson will play his former team for the third time this weekend, and while he plays for the Bengals and will obviously do whatever it takes to win, he roots for Jacksonville during weeks that the Jaguars aren't playing Cincinnati.

"I still do live in Jacksonville. The thing is, I root for Jacksonville," said Nelson via the Cincinnati Enquirer. Nelson was born in Melbourne and played college at the University of Florida. It's not surprising that his heart and soul remain in Florida, and Jacksonville. "It's good for the city. You always want to see the city do well. It's like what we're trying to bring here. It's all about our fans. Just as long as they don't do well this week."

Indeed.