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Lou Anarumo names Jordan Battle starter at strong safety

The rookie gets the nod.

Cincinnati Bengals v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals were faced with a tall task this offseason. Cincinnati saw Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell both leave in free agency, breaking up a safety duo that was as good as any in the league.

In the 2022 NFL Draft, the Bengals started that process when they drafted Dax Hill out of Michigan with the 31st overall pick. Bates was still on the roster at that time, but Duke Tobin and Co. clearly saw the writing on the wall.

When it comes to replacing Bell, the Bengals chose to sign veteran safety Nick Scott from the Los Angeles Rams. Scott has had an up-and-down season so far, with, unfortunately, more ups than downs. Scott has missed far too many tackles and has had coverage issues, specifically in the red zone.

Fans began calling for rookie Jordan Battle to get more playing time, and that is exactly what they’re going to see.

On Wednesday, Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo announced that Battle would be the starter going forward.

Tackling is one of the reasons for the move, per Anarumo. In the Bengals’ last game against the Baltimore Ravens, Battle finished with 10 tackles (12 solo). Battle also pressured Lamar Jackson into throwaways and really was all over the field.

The rookie out of Alabama looks to have the rest of the season to get more opportunities to grow and prove to his coaches that he is the long-term answer to replace the departed Bell.

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