Those who watch football often speak of "the three phases of the game". While offense and defense grab the spotlight and the lucrative contracts, special teams is also a critical facet to a team's success. Before Marvin Lewis arrived in Cincinnati, the Bengals' special teams units were downright deplorable. But, they have bounced back in a strong way under Lewis and special teams coach Darrin Simmons.
The next award in line for The CJ's is the Special Teams MVP and with a few Pro Bowl players on the unit, past and present, our contributors named their choices. Cast your vote and comment on your selection below!
Cody Tewmey: Cedric Peerman.
Alberto Luque (AKA muertasdeatenas): Cedric Peerman. The Virginian is one of the best special teams players in the NFL, and it is time for everyone to notice it. Some of his tackles on kick coverage are pure nastiness. After another year of listening to people arguing for another running back to come take his job, it was nice to see him deliver once again on the field, even if not on offense.
Alex Healey: Adam Jones. With Kevin Huber taking a small step back this year, the door was open for this award and Pacman walked through it. His return ability swung the momentum of several games in the Bengals' favor. He has a knack for making a big play at the most opportune time. When you juxtapose him with Brandon Tate, it's even easier to appreciate his ability.
Kyle Phelps: I've got to give this one to Cedric Peerman. In a season riddled with mistakes throughout the special teams unit, Cedric Peerman was always there to make the tackle against a return when they need it. He had 14 special teams tackles on the year, and even contributed in the return game when he was asked to. He only returned four kicks, but two of those four went for at least 12 yards. He's also the only special teams player to make the Pro Bowl this year, so I think you've got to give him the credit he deserves here.
Scott Schulze: Kevin Huber is the model of consistency. One of the NFL's best, with punts inside the 10-yard line and few punts that go for touchbacks. He's so automatic, it's almost an afterthought.
Rebecca Toback: Often, you see people wondering why Cedric Peerman is still on the Bengals. He may not have had one snap on offense this season (and if he did, it was only in garbage time). But, Peerman is a beast on special teams and that answers the question of why he's still a Bengals player. Peerman dominated on special teams all season long and is a huge asset to the team.
Scott Bantel: Cedric Peerman made this team solely for his special teams contributions and it was evident throughout the year. Nearly every time the Bengals pinned the opponent deep on a kick or punt, it was No. 30 who made the tackle.
Jason Marcum: Cedric Peerman was a human torpedo on special teams and helped the Bengals once again have one of the NFL's best special teams units. There weren't any real standouts on the return units, so that made it easy for Peerman to take home this award thanks to his work on coverage teams.
Dadio McDuck: Cedric Peerman.