Include Wallace Gilberry as someone else becoming more impressed with Will Clarke, the second-year defensive end out of West Virginia.
"He's gained the trust and confidence of the coaches," Gilberry said via Bengals.com. "He put on weight during the offseason (15-20 pounds to get to 290) and you can tell. He's strong against the run and he's listening to the coaching and he understands what they want."
Clarke played 18 snaps during Cincinnati's 24-19 win over the San Diego Chargers, generating a shared quarterback sack, two pressures and a batted pass at the line of scrimmage.
Head coach Marvin Lewis praised Clarke during his press conference on Monday afternoon.
"Will continues to take steps forward and fit into the mold," said Lewis. "Were happy with what he's doing." Bengals.com beat writer Geoff Hobson angles his story about quality rotation, which has played a role.
For the first time since right end Michael Johnson departed after the 2013 season and since right end Will Clarke arrived in the second round of the 2014 draft, the rotation against the Chargers was more balanced in the style of 2012 and 2013, when the Bengals racked up a total of 94 sacks. They had a league-low of 20 last season and Gilberry is all in.
Here's the breakdown of snaps for the Bengals' defensive line from Week 2:
Despite being selected in the third round during the 2014 NFL draft, Clarke only played 69 snaps on defense -- all but eight played after Week 11 in 2014 -- but revised his training regiment, which led to 20 pounds of acquired mass. "I knew I had to improve my strength if I want to be a dominant player in the league," Clarke, who worked out the entire offseason in Cincinnati, said this April.