The Cincinnati Bengals knew their defense wasn’t where it needed to be at the beginning of the offseason.
They went out and signed DJ Reader, a superstar nose tackle from Houston, and Josh Bynes, a former Ravens linebacker. They also added to their depleted linebacking corps with third-round pick Logan Wilson.
That said, bringing in Bynes may have been one of their most important signings of the offseason. He’s brought a hard-hitting powerful defender to this team, but it’s been his leadership that’s been just as crucial for Cincinnati.
Bates said that Bynes gave “a hell of a speech on adversity” the night before the team took the field against a very beatable Jacksonville team.
“Bynes is undrafted, he’s been in ten years, he’s been on a national championship (team), he’s won a Super Bowl. Him just being able to talk about his experiences and how that Super Bowl team, they started out 2-5 or whatever. How they came back and they won a Super Bowl. We’re trying to build that culture and that mindset here in Cincinnati,” Bates said according to Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson.
It wasn’t just Bates that noticed Bynes’ surprise address and the impact it has on the team.
Bengals LB Markus Bailey on Josh Bynes' surprise address to the team on Saturday night about overcoming adversity: "I thought it was what we needed to hear as a team"— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) October 5, 2020
Apparently it worked as well for the team.
Bynes, against the Jags, has just four tackles, one of which was a solo tackle. He played in 69 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. On the season, Bynes has 27 tackles and one sack.
The Bengals defense wasn’t incredible, but they did enough. The team gave up just 25 points, but more importantly, they held the Jags without a single point in the third quarter, a 15-minute period which the Bengals outscored the Jags by 17.