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NFL 2014: Cincinnati Bengals Beef Up Defense, Depth Chart

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Sep 01, 2014 07:48 PM EDT

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The big news in the Cincinnati Bengals camp is that upon reaching their final roster, Cincy is keeping seven linebackers instead of six. While that might not seem like such a difference, believe it or not, every spot on that 53-man roster is important. And the shift in offensive trends is causing the Bengals to beef up their depth chart where they were weakest last year- their linebacker corps. With four backups on the depth chart instead of three, bet on Cincinnati's coverage in the flats and across the middle improving substantially.

While some may have done a double take at the extra linebacker, the Bengals are just reflecting the changes in offensive styles (via ESPN):

"They learned that with so many teams incorporating pass-catching tight ends into their offenses, you can never have too many linebackers, particularly those who can cover."

In other news, the final trimming of the lineup included Orson Charles and Devon Still. In keeping with the theme of strong defense, Still was given ample opportunity to save himself, as defensive coordinator Paul Guenther called for his D-Line to step up a few weeks ago (via ESPN):

"I still think the fourth tackle spot's kind of open right now," Guenther said. "So hopefully somebody can take the lead on that one."

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