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  • Writer's pictureJoey Jarzynka

Bengals' DC Lou Anarumo (Part 2) Quotes 4.25.20


What do you like about Kareem, and do you view him more as an outside linebacker or defensive end?

"Yeah, I think (he's) another guy that brings us some flexibility. He did both at Norte Dame. I see him as a defensive end to start where we can, when we're in our sub-defense and he's out there securing the edges. At this point in the draft, when you can get a guy that's big, as tall and as long (as he is) — this guy's got an 84-inch wing span — had 13 or so sacks in his career, was a captain at Notre Dame last year, and has pass rush ability in the fifth round ... those are traits that we like."

Seems like everyone you're drafting has been a team captain and is seemingly building a strong locker room culture ...

"Yeah it helps. Those guys, anytime you've got guys that were leaders in college, that lends itself to being a better leader in the pros. And (especially) at a place like Notre Dame, which obviously is what it is (with him). We're very excited about him."

You went with Kareem over some other defensive ends that were available. What did you like about him more than other prospects?

"When you're talking about the length that the kid has — 34 and 3/8-inch arms, 84-inch wingspan — that's rare, and that can come into play in a lot of ways, (such as) separation from O-linemen, knocking balls down at the line of scrimmage, and just his overall play and makeup as the (player). We liked some of those other guys as well, but we just put this guy a little bit above (them)."

Did he interview with you at the Senior Bowl?

"We got a chance to do a Zoom (interview) — we have Zoomed with everybody. We got a chance to get around and visit him that way, so we felt good about the communication and how we did there. It was all good. (Defensive line coach) Nick Eason got with him some as well."

Your scheme was a bit of a hybrid last season. Are you drafting personnel that will fit what your scheme will be this year, with diverse, versatile guys?

"I think the less we can be pigeonholed into one thing, we'll be better (for it). Certainly, we're not an outlier when it comes to, 'Hey, we've some 3-4 (scheme) guys that can do certain things.' But, as always go back to, 70 percent of the time, you going to be in some kind of nickel defense with a four-down structure, and you want to be able to keep multiple (options open), so this guy lends to that as well."

You can do different things without having to substitute personnel then ...

"Trying to, yeah, if we can. We'll see how it all plays out. You don't know, but again, it goes back to you look for traits at this point in the draft that you can develop, and I don't care how long we stay out on the practice field, you can't coach length and size and speed. That's what we liked (about him)."

How fast is he?

"He ran a 4.85 (in the 40 yard dash), I believe."

You signed five free agents, and you have drafted some defensive players this weekend. Can you talk about how the talent on defense has been transformed?

"It was over the last few years — obviously, (I) got here late (in the hiring time period) last year — but, as I said since I've gotten here, this has been a proud place when it comes to defense for a long, long time, and it hasn't been (great) that way the last few years. Some of the players are getting older — whatever the reasons (may have been for that) — but part of it is (that) it's our job to evaluate talent and get younger bodies in here that can compete for spots, and who ends up starting will play itself out. Our job is to get a pool (in which) to create competition, and then the best guys will bubble up and play. We're doing that both with free agents, and the draft."

With players getting older, is this draft, along with the free agents, going to help in terms of load management on the field?

"I think so, yeah. I think so. I don't have any doubt that this guy will take snaps (from other) guys. And you know, especially early in the season when it's hot, you don't want them out there for 50 and 60 plays (anyway). Now, you get much, much better players if everybody's in the 30s and 40s (in terms of plays), as opposed to one guy in the 60s and 70s. That's the goal."

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