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Reggie Nelson had four solo tackles and three assists on Thursday night, in a performance that reminded us why the Jags drafted him in the first round.
Nelson put on a tackling clinic, wrapping up defenders in textbook fashion.
The only problem was that, by comparison, Taylor Mays appeared to be a real cause for concern.
Mays excelled on special teams in 2011. However, it seems the strong safety plays every snap as though he's charging down a kickoff.
Two weeks into the preseason, and his wayward hits have sidelined both Rey Maualuga and Vontaze Burfict.
Mike Zimmer isn't worried (via the team's official website):
It’s called friendly fire. Sometimes that happens. He’s playing aggressive; he’s not playing cautiously. He played pretty good in the game the other day. He hasn’t been in some real difficult situations lately. He needs to do better blitzing. He’s not as good a blitzer [as] I would like.
Elsewhere special teams ace Jeromy Miles looks to make the team, along with Boise State standout George Iloka.
Both Jason Allen and Nate Clements have been involved in the safety mix this offseason. If players don't live up to expectation, both of these vets are capable of playing the spot.
However, its a concern that the Bengals are already planning for that eventuality.
Reggie Nelson may be firing on all cylinders, but he can't do it on his own. Taylor Mays needs to build consistency, or else the Bengals will look for an upgrade as soon as 2013.