The Bengals defense figures to be solid again in 2014, but if they want to remain 'elite', they'll need someone along the defensive line to step up and replace Michael Johnson.
That's where Margus Hunt comes in. The second-year defensive end out of SMU has been drawing rave reviews during training camp. We finally got to see what all the fuss was about Thursday night on the team's first preseason game.
Chiefs tackle Jeff Linkenbach is probably buying the hype now.
Oh my. Let's slow it down.
That's just silly freakish. To bully any NFL lineman over like that with just one arm is a rare ability. It's no wonder Mike Zimmer cited Houston Texans All-Pro J.J. Watt as someone Hunt reminded him of.
For much of the offseason, Hunt has been pointed to as a player expected to take a big leap in 2014. When Johnson left for the Bus, it was Hunt who coaches singled out that could help pick up the production Johnson accounted for.
Hunt didn't get a sack as a rookie, but did notch 11 QB hurries. He'll be counted on to do a lot more in Year 2, though he's battling Wallace Gilberry just to earn a starting spot this year.
If his training camp and first preseason game performance are any indicator, Hunt is ready to have a breakout year and become the latest quality pass-rusher the Bengals have produced.