The best off-season of the Marvin Lewis Era continued when the team signed hard-hitting safety, Roy Williams, to a one-year deal. This is yet another smart move and one of little risk considering that within his eight years as a pro, Roy has clearly shown the world what he can and can’t do.
Roy can tackle; he’s more of a mini-linebacker than he is a safety. This is the man who forced the league to outlaw horse-collar tackles, the man who has tackled over 500 times in the NFL. A coordinator could use a player like Roy in a very specialized manner. He should come in for run support and safety blitzes, and come out on passing downs. Use him in nickel formations in the linebacker slot, cut him loose on punt blocks, be creative with the guy.
He went to four Pro-Bowls when coached by Bengals defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer, in Dallas, who said this about Roy: “I think I know how to use him a little bit.”
While not turning too many heads in the process, Zimmer has significantly upgraded this defense since the opener of last season. Those upgrades include: Tank Johnson for John Thornton, Chris Crocker for Marvin White, Roy Williams for Dexter Jackson, Rey Maualuga for Dhani Jones, and possibly coming soon, Roderick Hood for David Jones. Bengals.com reported that Hood – cornerback with Arizona last year – was scheduled to visit Paul Brown Stadium today. He would add even more depth to a suddenly veteran secondary.
It seems Zimmer seeks out players who are particularly talented in one facet of the game. Tank Johnson is primarily a pass-rusher, Rey & Roy are run-stuffers who enjoy hitting people, rookie defensive end, Michael Johnson, is very tall and athletically freakish Zimmer must play the part of Maestro, accentuating every specialized talent these newcomers posses and seamlessly blend them in with the existing sound of his emerging defense.
Marvin Lewis’ vision is finally beginning to take form. It was derailed then obscured, but now he has the living roots in his grasp and he can grow something, really grow something this time. We’ve all learned many lessons along his way, but the hardest learned for Marvin has been what not to do when next time rolls around. This, my friends, is the beginning of that next time.
To the end and beyond,
Mojokong – Levi Jones, your time with us tasted of bitter fruit. You join the ranks of the once loved but too thoroughly defeated. So it goes.
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