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Film room: The role of Kerry Wynn in the Bengals’ defense

A look at how Wynn can help the Bengals in multiple ways

New York Giants v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

I don’t know how to tell you this, Buffalo Bills, but the Bengals are cheating on you.

The Bengals sent the Bills to their first playoff game in 17 years by beating the Ravens to end the 2017 season. From that moment on, the Bengals and Bills were hot and heavy throughout the offseason; exchanging free agents and players under contract alike (disgusting, right?).

But last spring’s fling seems to be over and the Bengals have moved on. Much like your friend who just refuses to move on from his ex, the Bengals struggled to find a new defensive coordinator.

When they finally landed Giants defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo as DC, he didn’t come alone. First, they brought in defensive back former Giants B.W. Webb, and now they have added former Giant in defensive lineman Kerry Wynn.

Wynn can play both inside and outside on the Giants defensive line and could fit a role similar to that played Bengals free agent Michael Johnson in the past.

Here is a look at some of the ways Wynn can contribute in Cincinnati.

In this clip, Wynn lines up in a 3-technique against the Atlanta Falcons. He is fast off the ball and active with his hands. He manages to clear the guard’s outside hand before turning his hips to get thin through the hole.

Then he clears past the guard by dipping his right shoulder and dipping through on the way to the sack. Wynn shows excellent use of hands, and demonstrates how he could be the interior pass rusher the Bengals need.

In this clip, Wynn does not get home on his pass rush. Realizing he was not going to get to Deshaun Watson, he gets his eyes in the backfield and his hand up. He may not get the sack, but he knocks the ball right back into the backfield. This is a great job of adjusting on the fly and making a play.

Here Wynn lines up outside of the tight end. He gets a great initial strike pushing the tight end into the backfield. He loses ground when the tackle comes in on the combo block. When the back gets to the edge, Wynn shakes the tight end off and makes the tackle for a loss.

Wynn has the strength to be an excellent edge player against the run. He can be disruptive in the backfield; pushing blockers into the running lane and getting off of blocks.

Wynn lines up as the defensive end to the offenses right. When the Eagles run outside zone to the left, they leave him unblocked. The boot action of quarterback Carson Wentz is designed to hold the backside defensive end, but Wynn is not fooled. He runs Wendell Smallwood down from behind and tackles him in the backfield. Wynn shows excellent closing speed on this play.

One major reoccurring thing that stands out when watching Wynn on film is his effort in pursuit. When Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, completes a short pass, Wynn turns and runs; hitting the receiver and causing a fumble.

Defensive linemen who pursue like this often cause turnovers because receivers are not expecting to be hit from that angle. They are also instrumental in stopping the screen game.

Changes are likely coming to the Bengals depth chart at wide receiver and that may mean the loss of special teams phenom Cody Core (this is the most sarcastic sentence ever to grace this website). Special teams is a very important aspect of the game, and depth and rotational players must be able to contribute.

In this final clip Wynn shows his athletic ability running down on the kickoff. He breaks through a double team wedge block and makes the tackle. Larger players like Wynn can cause major disruptions in the kick game. This is just one more area where Wynn can make an impact.

Wynn was a solid pick up for the Bengals. He will contribute as a defensive end on early downs as well as an interior pass rusher. Anarumo clearly had the Bengals bring him in to fill a specific role. Although he may not put up the numbers of Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins, or Carl Lawson, expect Wynn to contribute to this defense in a meaningful way in 2019.