Cincinnati Bengals fans were used to this interior defensive line being one of the most formidable in the NFL.
While the start of the season was less than ideal when they were run over by Nick Chubb, the unit has bounced back well over the past few weeks.
A big part of that has been defensive tackle B.J. Hill, who made the game-winning hit on Geno Smith last week to give Cincy a must-have win over the Seattle Seahawks.
Let’s just say defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo understands the value of Hill and just how unique of a player he is for this unit.
“(Hill’s) a good three-down guy, a three-down player that can affect the quarterback. (But) stout enough to sit in against these double-team hard-run teams. Those guys are hard to find these days, and they’re smart football players. They don’t make error in there. It’s important those guys play that way and are consistent,” Anarumo told Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson.
The Bengals absolutely fleeced the New York Giants for Hill back in 2021, trading him for center Billy Price. He was drafted by the Giants in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft and has since proven to be a staple for the defense.
Hill ended last season with a career-high 68 tackles. He chipped in three fumble recoveries and a career-high four passes defended. Through six games, he has 15 tackles and 3 sacks, on pace for a career-high in the latter as well.
Hill didn’t play much in the 2021 regular season, as he was in on only 47% of the defensive snaps and started just two games.
In 2022 and 2023, he’s played 79% and 73%, respectively, and has started 22 games. He’s been a force for Anarumo, and expect Hill’s impact to continue as the season progresses.