When it comes to the defensive end position, the Bengals and every Bengals fan are completely focused on one guy and one guy alone: Michael Johnson. Why shouldn't they be? Johnson finished the 2012 season with 11.5 sacks, the second most after Geno Atkins, and proved that he has what it takes to be a great pass rusher from the defensive end position. The NFL is a passing league and a team's ability to rush the passer is just as important as it's ability to move the ball down the field. Johnson is on the front of the Bengals' mind for good reason.
However, another player that the Bengals should be focusing on is backup defensive end Wallace Gilberry. Gilberry signed with the team on Sept. 18 and finished the 2012 season with 6.5 sacks, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries, including one which he ran back 25 yards for a touchdown. Gilberry's 6.5 sacks put him in third place on the team when it came to pressuring the quarterback as fellow defensive end Carlos Dunlap finished the season with six.
As of right now, the Bengals have two defensive ends under contract for the upcoming season: Dunlap and Jamaal Anderson. Johnson, Gilberry and Robert Geathers. They had Derrick Harvey under contract, but released him not long after they signed him. Not only do they need to re-sign Johnson, but they'd be smart to re-sign Gilberry to a multi-year deal as well.
Why The Bengals Should Re-Sign Wallace Gilberry
Cincy Jungle | Feb 11