It is hard to imagine most Bengals’ fans don’t have some sort of opinion about former-Bengals pass rusher Carlos Dunlap forcing his way out of Cincinnati earlier this season. Now, it appears Dunlap and his coach couldn’t be happier to be apart of the same team and culture.
“It’s very exciting. I’m happy to be a part of it,” Dunlap told reporters earlier this week. “I can’t go into much detail, but like I said, it’s super surreal. It’s refreshing. I feel lighter, rejuvenated and I’m exciting to continue to go to work.”
He has certainly looked better in Seattle. He has three sacks in three games for the Seahawks, which includes a sack that helped seal a victory against the Cardinals. Seattle was in desperate need of help at pass rush, and Dunlap has been a huge help in that area, and even Dunlap’s new head coach, Pete Carroll, can’t help but be giddy about having his new player while throwing some vague criticism at his old team.
“He’s having the time of his life,” Carroll told reporters on Tuesday. “He is having a blast. He’s been upbeat and spirited and having fun with it and more than willing to do whatever, the work and getting out to practice and getting reps. I mean, all of it. He’s practicing really well. Got a really pleasant personality that’s fun. He’s having a good time so if you haven’t, if you guys haven’t been around him you know, when you get around him, you’ll see. He brings a good spirit to it and his attitude is excellent because he’s having so much fun. It’s different than what he’s been around.”
It isn’t hard to see why Carroll and Dunlap are happy. The Seahawks were in dire need of help, and they got it for practically nothing. They are a team that has much higher aspirations this season than Dunlap or the Bengals have had since 2015.
Meanwhile, the Bengals who are also in dire need of pass rushing had to part way with the franchises second leading sacker because he and this coaching staff couldn’t see eye to eye. We ultimately don’t know the exact specifics, but it is reasonable to believe that Dunlap simply wasn’t being used how he wanted or was used to. Maybe he was generally frustrated with wasting his last few productive seasons on a rebuilding team.
Could Dunlap had tried to get out of Cincinnati in a better manner? Maybe. However, we have seen how stubborn Cincinnati can be with players who want traded. Ultimately, this won’t change the way you feel about Dunlap one way or the other. It just isn’t a great look when another team’s head coach seems to confirm a disgruntled players view of the team you cheer for. Especially when reports continue to surface of frustrated players behind the scenes.