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ESPN’s Clayton speaks on the Bengals D

ESPN columnist John Clayton had the following in his mailbag today about the Bengals D and what he thinks the unit will be like in 2010:

Q: With the addition of Adam Jones and draft picks Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins, can the Bengals’ defense now be regarded as one of the NFL’s elite? Is that enough for them to repeat as AFC North champions?

James in Columbia, S.C.

A: Elite, no. Good, yes. What is lacking is a dominating defensive line. Antwan Odom did a nice job in the first half of last season rushing the passer, but he’s coming off an injury. Except for Tank Johnson, the Bengals lack size at defensive tackle. The exciting part of the defense is the play of their cornerbacks and the speed and tackling ability of their linebackers. To repeat, though, the Bengals must play better. The schedule will be tougher, and the Bengals can’t count on going 6-0 in divisional games like they did last season.

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