The Cincinnati Bengals signed former Ohio State Buckeye WR Dane Sanzenbacher on Christmas day.
Many people around the world basked in the joy of the holidays yesterday. Some gathered around tables to share meals. Others gathered around trees to open gifts.
One special gift for Dane Sanzenbacher, however, wasn't wrapped. Dane received a phone call from the Bengals front office indicating that he had been picked up off of waivers after being released by the Chicago Bears.
Sanzenbacher was a four year standout wide receiver at the Ohio State University before signing with the Bears in 2011 as a free agent. The addition of Sanzenbacher completes the six-man receiver lineup; a spot that has been vacant ever since Mohamed Sanu was placed on the injured reserve because of a foot injury.
It's safe to say that Sanzenbacher's role in the Bengals offense will be simple. He should play the slot receiver with A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and sometimes Brandon Tate on the outside. This means that he'll rotate at the slot position with Ryan Whalen and Andrew Hawkins.
At Ohio State, Sanzenbacher worked opposite Texans receiver DeVier Posey, where he racked up 91 catches for 1,518 yards and 17 touchdowns in his final two years. Dane's route running, quickness and burst made him a matchup nightmare in the Big 10.
Bengals Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden will most likely use Sanzenbacher in a very similar fashion to how Andrew Hawkins is used; using his size and quickness to find holes and convert in short passing situations.
Sanzenbacher joins three other Buckeyes on the current Bengals roster: RB Daniel "Boom" Herron, DB Nate Clements and K Mike Nugent all dawned the scarlet and grey at one time.
Local sports fans will look to Sanzenbacher to fill the hometown role that recently released receiver Armon Binns brought to the team. Binns played his college ball at the University of Cincinnati before signing with the Bengals. Binns is now with the Dolphins.