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Bengals DT Geno Atkins "moving a lot better than last year"

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Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins is spending the offseason training and improving, as opposed to last year where he was stuck rehabilitating a surgically repaired ACL.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Giving Geno Atkins a "pass" in 2014 for his sub-par play was based on his rehabilitation from an ACL tear in 2013. The theory is this: Since he was forced to recover and rehabilitate a surgically-repaired ACL during the 2014 offseason, he wasn't training and it led to a decline in his overall production -- and expectations that were had for him. His quarterback sacks took a dive but his quarterback pressures ranked as his third-best on the Bengals.

SEASON GAMES SACKS QB HITS QB HURRIES PRESSURES
2014 16 3.0 4 36 40
2013 9 6.0 8 20 28
2012 16 12.5 13 53 66
2011 16 7.5 16 28 44
2010 16 3.0 7 19 26

One year later, he's looking good, according to Bengals.com. "From what I've seen the best news is that Atkins seems to be moving a lot better than he did last spring and that bodes well," writes Geoff Hobson in his latest mailbag. Atkins suffered an ACL injury on Halloween night in 2013 and spent most of the offseason that followed in rehabilitation.

"I'm confident that he'll come back next year and be the guy that we all know," Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said earlier this year. "After going through the year of working through his injury, I feel confident he's going to come back with a vengeance."

"Geno is excited. Geno was not overly excited about his season last season, his production overall," said head coach Marvin Lewis in February. "Geno went through a traumatic experience. A lot of times people have a lot of people in their minds and have a lot of things they deal with."

"I’m really (excited) about Geno going forward. I know he’s excited about things and we have to get back to winning football. We’re going to win with our good players doing well and playing dominant. We have to be more competitive in every area across the board. How we practice, how we do things, and we've got to get better as a team," Lewis said.

Following his explosive season in 2013, Atkins signed a five-year extension worth $53.327 million with a $15 million signing bonus.