Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard made one of the most famous plays in Bengals history last post-season. With the game knotted up at 17 in the fourth quarter, linebacker Logan Wilson knocked the ball free from Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley. Hubbard snatched the ball out of the air and was off to the races, taking the ball back 98 yards for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown.
We all know the story on Hubbard. As a lifelong Bengals fan from the Cincinnati area, Hubbard has been a part of two of the most successful teams in Bengals history.
That great play and recent success are not enough for Hubbard, though. He wants more.
Hubbard battled a torn calf muscle last season and was able to return to the field, but he credits his off-season work for getting him to the point that he feels he’s at his best.
“My core discipline, my routine during the week, cold exposure, sauna, nutrition. It’s a little bit better in all areas,” Hubbard said. “I’m ready to put it all together.”
Hubbard is a fan favorite, but his teammates are taking notice as well. When speaking to the media, defensive tackle D.J. Reader sang Hubbard’s praises.
“As a man on and off the field, he’s been fun to watch,” said Reader. “He’s always been very organized in that. But just seeing the confidence as a player grow … He’s one of the best play recognizers I’ve been around and as far as his work ethic, how he recognizes plays, how he processes them.”
With his confidence in his body, Hubbard is setting lofty goals for himself heading in to the 2023 campaign, saying he wants to reach double-digit sacks this season.
“I got double-digits in ‘21 including playoffs, but I want regular-season double-digits,” Hubbard says. “I’ve been close. Last year I was on pace before I tore my calf … with (four) games to go and slowed me up.”
As a building block for the Bengal defense, it is great to hear Hubbard seem to be in such a great space both mentally and physically as the journey to bringing a Lombardi Trophy to Cincinnati.