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A step up and a step back
A intresting season awaits us after a exciting FA period
With dollar amounts we have seen in ages here.
Then you add a draft that hopefully has future cornerstones.

As in any football season there are players that
Rise and fall.

Name 1 player that you believe will make
The biggest improvement on the team and then
Name one that will take largest step back

Have it Bengals fans .
Forward - Michael Jordan.

Backward - Not sure Jordan Evans counts because he's been taking steps backwards for years, but this year I think it'll be right off the roster.

You also worry about aging vets like Atkins and Green.
Step up- Carl Lawson- I think he is our best edge Rusher on the team and will have a huge season this year. He finished last season on a bang and I'm expecting that to continue.

Step down- Sam Hubbard- someone from the D-Line won't put up huge numbers this season and I guess it will be him. Honestly not that Confident in this prediction because he is a good player and it was more I have to pick someone on the roster.

Lebron left the Cavs this makes me sad. 
We've not seen him yet, but I think Jonah Williams is going to be the biggest upgrade when he plays.

Waynes will be the biggest disappointment.
Up - Sample
Back - Bullock
Up Ross
Back Bullock
I'm just gonna go find a cash machine. 

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up- Wren
BAck- Evans...If Bailey isnt on IR, I think he is done
Step up: Sam Hubbard - Breaks that 10 sack barrier.
Step back: Tyler Boyd - Less targets because the receiver core stays healthy.
"We were poor. If I wasn't born a boy, I would have nothing to play with." -Rodney Dangerfield.
Up= Green

WhoDey2 A step up: John Ross
A step back: WJIII
The only thing I hate worse than Pittsburgh football... Pittsburgh fans!!

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Step UP: Ross
Step Down: Bullock
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Step up....John Ross. Burrow able exploit
His match up advantages downfield

Step back Bobby Hart.
I think Fred Johnson might take his positon
Up: John Ross. He was finally starting to put it all together last year before he got hurt. If he can stay healthy he could have a nice season with Burrow’s accuracy and touch.

Down: Shawn Williams. Not sure how much he’ll play with Bell here now, but it will almost certainly be a reduced role.
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UP: Mixon - Don't underestimate the impact that the right QB can have on a team's running game. Burrow's smarts in adjusting to what he sees at the LOS will help make Mixon more successful. It won't surprise me if he goes 1000 and 1000 in rushing yards and receiving yards. I also expect better offensive line play w/ Jonah and Xaxier in the lineup. That will boost Mixon and Burrow.

DOWN: Can't think of anyone that I think will take a step back.
Where We Go 1, We Go All

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I see some interesting choices in the "step back" catagory.  Very few of them aging vets that could start to decline.

I understand the explanation that Boyd will get a lot less targets if Green returns and Higgens shines.  Or that Shawn Williams will see fewer snaps with Bell on the team.

But could the rest of you guys explan why you think your choice will take a "step back".

BTW I don't think Geno was as bad as his numbers last year.  His fellow NFL players voted him to the Pro Bowl, and I think that says a lot.  But taking an honest look at his play over the last few years makes him my choice to "step back".

Geno Atkins playing like the Old Geno would do as much to transform this defense as any new player we have brought in.

Does Jonah Williams really count as a "step up" player since he did not play at alllast year?  If so then there is no contest in that catagory.

If Jonal does not count then I would pick Lawson, BUT I have serious doubts about his durability.

So my choice is Germain Pratt. What jumped out to me from last year was his consistent development over the season.  He barely played the first half of the year with only 101 snaps on defense (app 20%) and never more than 38% of the defensive snaps in any game.  Then in game #9 against Baltimore he played 50% of the defensive snaps, and Preston Brown was immediately released.  Pratt still did not play more than 68% of the snaps until the final 4 games.  Then he played over 70% in 3 of them.  Here is how his season broke down

1-4 ........ 25... 4..... 1..... 3..... 1..... 0
5-8 ........ 76...12.... 9..... 3..... 6..... 0
9-12.......148...22...14..... 8..... 7..... 0
13-16.....187...34...23.....11....14..... 4

Project that last quarter of the season over a full 16 games and you get 136 tackles and 16 tackle for loss.  That would be an awesome year from any of our LBs.

I know 4 games is a very small sample size, but those numbers were not just a fluke spike in production.  Instead you can track consistent improvement throughout the entire season.

Step Up
WJIII- He now has help

Step Back
Gio Bernard- I see Williams replacing him as our #2 or even cut to save $4Mil in cap
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(06-28-2020, 11:23 AM)bfine32 Wrote: Step Up
WJIII- He now has help

I don't think lack of help was his big problem last year.

But we have already seen that he can be a very good player.  One of the best on the defense if he plays at his best.

So I don't know if I should call it a "step up" or a "comeback" but Jackson returning would be a huge help to this defense.

(06-27-2020, 04:36 PM)Synric Wrote: Step up: Sam Hubbard - Breaks that 10 sack barrier.
Step back: Tyler Boyd - Less targets because the receiver core stays healthy.

Interesting take on Boyd.  I know there will only be so many balls to go around, but I think healthy WRs around him only make his domain (the middle of the field) that much more successful for Burrow.  Boyd is a damn good WR and strong #2.  He should eat very well with Burrow if the outside weapons are healthy as they will draw coverage away from him.  Burrow has such amazing vision and had 115 RECEPTIONS, not targets, to his slot WR at LSU last year.  
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(06-27-2020, 08:07 PM)JSR18 Wrote: WhoDey2  A step up: John Ross
                A step back: WJIII

Wow.  If this happens, let's hope Darius Phillips also steps up.  
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