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Interview: Renell Wren has new moves

Watch out. The massive second-year defensive tackle has always had exceptional athleticism and size. Now he’s refining his pass-rushing techniques.

NFL: International Series-Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Rams Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Renell Wren is a grounded man. This is what I immediately took away in speaking with him. But he’s also highly-dedicated and driven to improve his game. Hopefully he’ll be driving opposing QBs into the ground next season.

Wren sat down to talk with us about his offseason training, how he wants to expand his game behind his bull rush and counter move, how defensive line coach Nick Eason has served as the perfect mentor, and where he fits on a talented d-line alongside Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and D.J. Reader.

At 6’5”, 318 pounds, Wren can play multiple positions.

“I love being across the line,” he said. “I’m very comfortable playing nose tackle, d-tackle, and defensive end, because the more you can play position-wise, the longer you can stay on the field. And my thing is, I’m trying to contribute to the team as much as I can.”

For now, though, it looks like Wren will be a defensive end.

“Since we moved to a 3-4, what’s called ‘the big base package’... they have me starting at defensive end,” he said. “I’m very confident that I will be on the goal-line package.”

Wren is a soft-spoken, genuinely modest person. He credits his family and upbringing.

“[My parents] disciplined me inside the house rather than [allowing me to] be disciplined on the streets,” he said. “They always taught me manners, saying ‘yes, sir’ and ‘no, ma’am’ and just being respectful throughout my journey.”

Of course, we had to talk Joe Burrow. Wren knows that having a franchise QB will make the job of the o-line easier.

“It makes my game way easier being able to have a quarterback that has the mindset having the o-line stay on the field and do what they have to do, run the clock,” he said. “Being able to beat them on first, second, third down, get that punt return out, [we can then] relax on the sideline and game plan for the next play.”

Wren also talked about the new additions at linebacker and how they can help the Bengals’ defense reach its potential.

“Man, it’s going to be a great opportunity for everybody,” he said. “For the redzone and everything that we got to do in order to get off that field, everybody has the opportunity to be great and be successful. We’re very competitive, so once we do what we got to do, contribute as a team, the sky is a limit for us.”

You can watch the full interview here:

And listen to the podcast here: