Final jeopardy answer: Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson and a fine wine have this in common.
The question? What is “getting better with age.”
“I felt like I got better throughout the season,” Wilson said recently in an interview with the Casper (Wyoming) Star Tribune. “Obviously missing the last three games sucked, but that’s part of football.”
In fact, Wilson missed a total of four games with various injuries, including a concussion and a high ankle sprain that cost him the last three games of the season. Considering that he started and played in all 52 games during his collegiate career at the University of Wyoming, losing any time at all due to injuries was an eye-opening experience for Wilson.
“When I missed that first game with the concussion, I think that was the first football game I’ve missed since my freshman year of high school,” Wilson said. “So that puts it in perspective to me like, yeah, it’s tough missing a game, but I’ve been very blessed to play as many games as I have up to this point without missing one.”
He finished the season with 33 tackles, including 23 solo tackles, four tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and a sack. Wilson also recorded a pair of interceptions, tied for fourth best in the league among linebackers.
He finished with an overall grade of 54.7, according to Pro Football Focus, but that grade is deceiving considering the fact that it took the rookie some time to work his way into an increased role on the Bengals’ defense.
In the nine-game stretch from Week 3 to Week 13, Logan was graded above 56 percent in every game, including a grade of 60 or above six times. In fact, he was playing some of his best football of the season when he got injured in Week 14 against Dallas.
“For the most part, I was very pleased with how my season went,” Wilson said. “I got more comfortable with understanding the defense as the season went along, but there’s still some work to do.”
And that work will begin with increased playing time. Wilson, who started just two games last year, was in on only 32.39 percent of the total defensive snaps. But he figures to see much more playing time in 2021 - especially if Josh Bynes, the Bengals’ third-leading tackler in 2020, is not brought back.
And, hopefully, he will just keep getting better.