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TDBH: Guenther views first “over-hyped,” combine as DC
February 23, 2018 05:00 AM | Geoff Hobson

INDIANAPOLIS - Paul Guenther is at his ninth NFL scouting combine but first as a defensive coordinator and he pulls no punches. The new Bengals DC thinks it is over-hyped. Even though one of his close friends has become the face of the combine thanks to the wall-to-wall coverage. "I had dinner with him last night," Guenther says today of NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock.

"They put it on TV and I understand that. But some of the comments. 'A bad toe turn there.' Come on, seriously. These quarterbacks that throw, they're throwing to guys they've never thrown to. And they're like, 'See, that was a bad throw. It wasn't quite over the outside shoulder.' But they threw the ball over 500 times in college in a real game. That's just my opinion. The combine is more so you get to know the person. There are a couple of things you want to see in the drills by position, but other than that, really, it's over-hyped." Guenther also plans to tweak the Bengals defense but that's all because he's keeping the same techniques and system passed on from new Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.

And, why not? They have finished 7-6-3 in NFL defense the past three seasons. But one tweak in his plan is more multiple fronts in an effort to get better matchups. The idea is to move players into more favorable spots on the defensive line while keeping the same personnel group. And on any down, not just third down. The defending AFC North champs can act like it in the draft. Guenther says it's not like 2006, 2007, or 2012, when the Bengals desperately need a cornerback and select Johnathan Joseph,Leon Hall and Dre Kirkpatrick respectively, in the first round. With Hall's second torn Achilles in three years last season and the age ofTerence Newman andAdam Jones (turning 36 and 31, respectively this September); a corner would be nice but not necessary at No. 24. "If there's like an edge rusher, who do we rank higher? Who is the best player? A good safety sitting there?" Guenther asks. "It used to be in the past, 'We've got to get this position. One way or another. We have to fill this role.' We don't have that hole right now on defense." Footnote: The Bengals take Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard No. 24.

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