Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo seems to have a knack for taking previously underperforming players and finding a role that works for them. That was certainly the case for Tre Flowers, who the Bengals picked up off waivers during their Super Bowl run a year ago.
It’s also true about their starters.
Chidobe Awuzie was not a highly acclaimed free agent acquisition, but he was one of the league’s top cornerbacks for the Bengals until he got hurt. Eli Apple has been demonized by other fan bases, but he’s been solid in the Bengals’ secondary.
The Bengals selected Cam Taylor-Britt in the second round of last year’s draft to replace Apple. Unfortunately, it was Awuzie who he ended up replacing. Apple missed one start, but in that game, Awuzie went out for the season. Taylor-Britt stepped up and continued to develop during the season.
Mike Hilton brings a lot as a slot cornerback, not the least of which is leadership. Hilton’s arrival in Cincinnati was a major part of the cultural shift, and not only in the defensive backfield.
In this podcast, I discuss the cornerback position and what’s ahead for the Bengals.