Geno Atkins praised as ‘best player on the field’ for Cincinnati Bengals

By Jesse Reed

Geno Atkins is back, baby.

Before injuring his knee in 2013, Atkins was emerging as a top defensive tackle in the NFL. After a frustrating 2014 campaign, it appears the Cincinnati Bengals star defender is up to his old tricks again.

Geoff Hobson, editor of Bengals.com, had this to say about the dynamic defensive tackle after Sunday’s practice:

“At the moment, this guy is the best player on the field either side of the ball. You can’t block him. Run or pass. Kevin Zeitler is one of the finest right guards in the league and he’s got his hands full.”

After last year’s mediocre showing on the defensive side of the ball, this is the news Bengals fans have been longing to hear. Cincinnati ranked No. 20 against the pass and the run in 2014, and the worst part is the team only registered 20 sacks all year long.

Before his injury, Atkins was one of the premier pass-rushing defensive tackles in the league, as his 12.5 sacks in 2012 clearly shows. He is also a stout run defender, and if he’s back to his old ways, then the Bengals will be significantly more formidable on defense this upcoming season.

Furthermore, if teammate Michael Johnson can return healthy after his scary near-miss knee injury this weekend, then the Bengals should have a lot more firepower to rush the passer in 2015. This team registered 51 total sacks in 2012, the year Atkins surged. With another big-time performance from the undersized dynamo, Cincinnati should at least double last year’s dismal output.

Photo Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports