There’s a reason why Josh Bynes wasn’t retained by the Bengals this offseason. His name is Logan Wilson.
The soon-to-be 25-year old linebacker is entering his second year in defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo’s defense. The exposure he received as a rookie last year has allowed him to have a successful offseason thus far through Anarumo’s eyes.
“You know, he’s taking strides that way,” Anarumo said of Wilson. “And for a young guy, when you think about it, you know, he missed the games he missed last year, didn’t have an offseason, didn’t have a spring, and so, in a lot of ways, this is just a continuation of his rookie year. And he has really, to this point, done very well, and we continue to see him that way.”
Wilson has been locked in as Bynes’ replacement in the starting lineup since the beginning of the new league year. It’s the most notable change Cincinnati has made at the linebacker position this year.
This is good news for Germaine Pratt, the now third-year linebacker who had a subpar 2020 season. Anarumo has liked what he’s seen from Pratt this offseason as well.
“I think Germaine Pratt is communicating very well also and trying to get guys in the right position,” Anarumo said. “So between those two guys, they’ve really stepped up so far this spring.”
Wilson’s promotion was inevitable from the moment the Bengals drafted him at the top of the third round in the 2020 NFL Draft. His time as a rotational defender was well spent last season, but he has true three-down ability and the mindset of a leader to boot.
“I’m a team guy,” Wilson said. “If it means coming in and contributing or playing 70 snaps, whatever it is. Whatever the team needs. That’s just kind of my mindset.”
Cincinnati’s march back to respectability on defense hinges on a lot of things, and getting quality linebacker play from Wilson and Pratt would help tremendously.