Karlos Dansby got his wish. He was adamant about being in Bengals stripes. The Bengals added him to their expanding group of linebackers and gained tons of experience. Now, the level of emotion and passion should be overflowing in Cincinnati. Dansby is a professional with the skill set to match his desire. All he wants to do is win. He can accomplish that with the Bengals.
The average fan doesn’t notice it, but the diehard lifers are aware. The climate of Bengals football has changed. What used to be the laughingstock of the NFL has been transformed. Marvin Lewis has brought a winning culture back to the shores of the Ohio River. That mindset has been cultivated through defense, desire, and consistency.
Dansby is a 13-year linebacker with all of the above. He’s a defensive juggernaut, wants to win, and has been more than consistent throughout his career.
While Dansby was with the Arizona Cardinals, he came within 2:37 of winning Super Bowl XLIII. He was part of the action, as the Pittsburgh Steelers marched 78 yards to score the winning touchdown. His desire to have confetti dropped on him has never died. It’s gotten stronger. After watching the Steelers squeak by the Bengals, in the January 9 Wild Card game, Dansby realized he could be of use. Per the Cincinnati Enquirer, Dansby stated part of his goal.
“I feel like I can come in and I can help get us over that hump. I want to be a part of something that’s great.”
Before signing with the Bengals, Dansby was familiar with the coaching staff. Prior to another stint with Arizona, during the 2013 season, Dansby was invited to talk with the Bengals. Defensive guru Paul Guenther was the linebackers coach, at that time. He’s also familiar with defensive backs coach Kevin Coyle. Per SB Nation, Coyle was the defensive coordinator for the Dolphins, from 2012-15. Dansby was in Miami from 2010-12.
Dansby is adept at playing both the 4-3 and 3-4 defensive schemes. Although the Bengals re-signed Vincent Rey, the experience of Dansby can’t be overlooked. His 171 career starts are chock-full of knowledge that can only come through gameplay. During the three-game suspension of Vontaze Burfict, Dansby and Rey could see a lot of action.
With part of the Bengals coaching staff knowing Dansby, they’ll get even more production out of the talented linebacker.
Bringing in Dansby adds to the playoff depth and experience that the Bengals need. Being just a field goal away from the Divisional Round still stings both the franchise and fans. Passion is great, but maturity under pressure is what the Bengals are seeking. The drive and hunger to get to the next level is what makes players achieve greatness.
“The guys being so close last year I know it’s going to push ’em to another level,” Dansby gushed. “Back in ’08, when I lost that, when I lost that game in ’08, the Super Bowl, it pushed me to another level.”
Dansby realizes that the Bengals are close. He knows they’re itching to get back to the playoffs and prove they can get over the hump. He’s ready to go to war with them.
“They knew they had an opportunity to win that game they lost. So, man, I fit right into that boat, you know? I want to be around guys that have the same kind of mindset.”
Though the Bengals gave him a one-year deal that may be all he needs to realize his dream of winning the Super Bowl. Having Dansby around is enough to motivate younger players to reach their potential. All it takes is the passion to get to the next level.
[Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images]