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Former Chiefs and Bengals player criticizes Chidobe Awuzie

Shaun Smith went on a rant about the Bengals’ best corner.

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NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

We recently brought Shaun Smith, a retired defensive tackle who played for both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals, on our show to preview the upcoming AFC Championship game, and he had some harsh words for Chidobe Awuzie.

“Twenty-two, your DB, I don’t know how you say his name, twenty-two, he gets his a** beat every week,” Smith said. “He’s suspect. If I’m the quarterback, if I’m [Patrick] Mahomes I’m checking every time twenty-two’s one on one.”

We then asked former Chiefs defensive back Eric Warfield for his opinion of Awuzie, but Smith jumped in with, “He’s hot garbage.” Smith then said that the team will check to a throw to Tyreek Hill as soon as they see Awuzie covering him.

It seems that Smith is either judging Awuzie’s play based on his time with the Dallas Cowboys or a rough game last week against the Tennessee Titans, as Awuzie has had a stellar year by every available metric.


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Awuzie made Pro Football Focus’ 2021 All-Pro Team after earning the highest overall grade (83.4) of all corners in the AFC and second in the entire NFL. His coverage grade (84.2) was third best in the league.

Unfortunately, many will remember only the big plays Awuzie allowed in the AFC Divisional Round playoff game last week. But really, what could Awuzie do on a perfectly-thrown pass by Ryan Tannehill to A.J. Brown?

Go back and watch the clip, and you’ll see that the ball landed on Brown’s left arm almost without the receiver noticing. It was an exceptional pass and Awuzie was almost in position to make a play. He simply didn’t get turned around in time and clearly didn’t think the ball would land into such a difficult spot.

Regardless how Awuzie looked last week, he’s still a very important part of a Bengals team that’s now just one game away from the Super Bowl.

You can watch our full interview below.

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