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When Jonathan Joseph left for Houston before last season, Cincinnati relied on young players to replace him. Pacman Jones missed the first half of the season with a neck injury, but he has had time to recover from his injuries.
A season after going through many cornerbacks, the Bengals addressed their depth through free agency and the draft.
Leon Hall, who was playing at a high level, injured his Achilles tendon and only played part of one game with Jones. Hall signed an extension last year, and he will be expected to lead the secondary this season.
Veteran corner Nate Clements was a pleasant surprise last season, but he may not be on the team when the Bengals open the season in Baltimore. If he returns, Pacman will need to focus on special teams.
Joining this already deep group of corners is rookie Dre Kirkpatrick. The Bengals' first-round pick will be expected to contribute immediately, but the veterans on this team should help him adjust to life in the NFL.
In free agency, the team picked up Terence Newman and Jason Allen. Both corners had four interceptions last season, and they will provide much needed depth in Cincinnati.
With the secondary being one of the deepest units in the league, Pacman will have less pressure on him this year. He will be used less on defense, and it will keep him fresh for special teams. When he does play on defense, he will be able to replace players who are tired.
It will be interesting to see who makes the team, but the Bengals have plenty of options to improve their pass defense.