Cincinnati Bengals rookie Daxton Hill was effectively thrown into the fire from day one. With star safety Jessie Bates III away from the team after not reaching an agreement on a long-term contract, Hill was taking the starting free safety snaps from the time he arrived in Cincinnati.
With Bates returning toward the end of camp, the focus started to shift to how Hill would be used, following his impressive preseason. Wednesday, defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo spoke briefly about how he would use the two talented safeties and get them on the field at the same time.
For us to know and you to find out. Lou Anarumo on how Dax Hill and Jessie Bates will be used together in Bengals secondary. pic.twitter.com/jFRXB5Ry8k— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) September 1, 2022
“While Jessie wasn’t here, Dax was doing and practicing the roles that he’s going to do during the season...,” Anarumo said.
As the video shows, Anarumo declined to go into detail about what exactly that will be. Anarumo showed a great ability to not only disguise coverages, adjust as the game required, but also to use players in somewhat unconventional ways to slow down opposing offenses. It makes sense that he wouldn’t show his hand too much in a September 1st chat with the media, but we can expect some exciting new wrinkles in the defense.
Hill is listed as a safety, but he played all over the defensive backfield at the University of Michigan, finding success essentially everywhere he played. Look for Hill to get snaps as a deep safety, in the box and even at slot corner this coming season. We saw him do some blitzing in the preseason, so that could be another area to watch.
After a borderline dominant postseason, the Bengals defense has yet another tool in the arsenal and you should be excited about it.