Bengals' Carlos Dunlap Unhappy with Demotion Ahead of Clash vs. Ravens

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2020

Cincinnati Bengals' Carlos Dunlap (96) against the Philadelphia Eagles during an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
Rich Schultz/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap told reporters Thursday he isn't thrilled with the coaching staff's plan to move him into a third-down role off the edge against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5. 

Namely, he said he wasn't happy to only learn about his new role after the depth chart was posted Thursday, rather than having a coach tell him. 

"That's crazy, right?" he said. "I mean, you would think common decency would be something like that. I mean, it's not like I'm injured or anything. I'm not nursing anything. I've been blessed. Eleven years in the game. But I understand business, and evidently, this is the business they want to do."

Dunlap said the decision and the late notice only complicated preparations for Lamar Jackson and Baltimore's explosive offense this week. 

"I'm really trying to figure out the plans," he noted. "It's kind of frustrating. I would like to just prepare for Baltimore, but I gotta prepare to figure out the madness that they [the coaches] are doing."

Dunlap, 31, is a two-time Pro Bowler who has registered seven or more sacks eight times, including nine last season. He has zero sacks, two quarterback hits and 16 tackles (one for loss) through four starts this season, however. 

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The veteran wondered if the coaching staff didn't feel he made enough of the impact against the run in the first four weeks:

If that's the case, relegating him to a pass-rushing role exclusively against a Baltimore offense third in rushing yards per game (160.8) might make some sense. According to ESPN's Ben Baby, however, Dunlap ranks "46th among 82 qualifying defensive ends in edge rush stop win rate, an ESPN metric powered by NFL NextGen Stats."

Not great, not terrible. Ultimately, Dunlap is at the mercy of the coaching staff. 

"It just seems like this is what the coaches want," Dunlap said. "I don't know what their thought is. But evidently, the focus is on third down, so we have to get them to third down with the young boys and then do what I'm asked to do."