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Bengals1181
06-11-2014, 07:53 AM
How Will Hue Use Sanu? (http://blogs.bengals.com/2014/06/11/how-will-hue-use-sanu/)Posted by Dan Hoard on June 11, 2014 – 7:18 am

In the two years that Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson spent in Oakland, he helped 255-lb Marcel Reece earn the nickname the “Matchup Nightmare.” Jackson used Reece as a fullback, tailback, and even had him line up at wide receiver to take advantage of his unique skills as a runner and receiver.
Could Jackson have similar things in mind for Mohamed Sanu?
“He’s got me doing some stuff,” said Sanu with a grin. “I love it. I’m embracing it and I’m going to do everything that I can to make sure that I’m the best at it.”
http://nflbengals.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/sanu-pass-440x293.jpg?w=440&h=293 (http://nflbengals.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/sanu-pass-440x293.jpg)Mohamed Sanu

Sanu was a jack-of-all-trades in three years at Rutgers, finishing his career with 12 TD catches, 9 TD runs, and 4 TD passes. In two years with the Bengals, Sanu has 63 receptions, 9 rushing attempts, and has completed both of his passes – including a 73-yard touchdown to A.J. Green (watch it here (http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-cant-miss-plays/0ap2000000064724/WK-3-Can-t-Miss-Play-Bengals-open-with-a-bang)).
“Mo is a dynamic player,” said Green. “You saw what he did in college and we’re trying to use his abilities in this offense. He can run the ball, throw the ball, and catch the ball – he can do about anything with a football.”
Sanu obviously isn’t as physically imposing as the two-time Pro Bowler Reece, but he’s a solid 6’2”, 210 pounds and has looked good in the Bengals recent offseason practices.
“He’s rolling,” said Marvin Jones. “He’s gotten a lot faster and more explosive and it’s good to see out there.”
“He’s running a lot better I think than he has the last two years,” said Andy Dalton. “He looks smooth and I think his speed has increased. It’s been fun to see all of the things that he does. He’s a guy that’s outside, inside, and can play all of the positions. You need a guy on the team like that that can do it all.”
Sanu was the Bengals fourth-leading receiver last year, finishing with 47 grabs for 455 yards (9.7 yards per catch), but wasn’t satisfied with his production.
“I was a little disappointed,” Mohamed told me. “I didn’t feel that I played as well as I should have so I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder.
“I have high expectations for myself and when I don’t perform the way I should perform, I hold it against myself. It makes me work that much harder because I know that I can help this offense more.”
“It’s been funny, he and Marvin Jones have kind of been in a horse race,” said Marvin Lewis. “One edges out one for a second, and then the other one edges ahead. It’s been a back-and-forth throughout their careers, and as rookies, we never really got them out there suited up the same week. Last year we were able to. But I think it’s been a good competition throughout. They both want to play. They both want to be the starting wide receiver opposite A.J. and that’s what you want to have.”
After catching 51 passes for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns last year, Jones appears to be the front-runner for the starting spot opposite of Green, but Sanu is confident that Hue Jackson will find plenty of ways for him to have an impact.
“I love Coach Jackson,” said Sanu. “He’s very demanding and that’s the kind of Coach I like. He gets the best out of you day in and day out. He has high expectations for this offense and everybody in it. That’s what I love and that’s what I thrive under.
“I’m uncommon because I can do a lot of different things and play a lot of different positions. I have a lot of different talents, but it’s up to me to show it.”
Whether it’s running, catching, or throwing.
“Whatever coach wants me to do, I’m going to do,” said Sanu.
“That’s the type of versatility that a team longs for and that we have,” said Jones. “He’s a great talent and we’re definitely happy that he’s on our side.”
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http://blogs.bengals.com/2014/06/11/how-will-hue-use-sanu/

texbengal
06-11-2014, 09:45 AM
I was also disappointed in Sanu last year. He didn't look like he could separate at all, and after impressing as a rookie I thought he'd break out last year.

Good to hear that he's faster - with his size, at the very least, he can really help in the slot and in the red zone. Also encouraging to hear all of the praise for Hue. I think he's the X factor for this offense.

Bengals1181
06-11-2014, 09:54 AM
I wasn't disappointed his play as so much as I was disappointed he didn't take as much as a leap as we hoped. I was surprised to see that he still ended up with 47 catches.


And in general, Sanu and Hawkins, along with the TE's, were all criminally misused last year. Though to Gruden's credit, they still ended up with the 8th ranked passing offense.

JBandJoeyV
06-11-2014, 10:41 AM
I just hope he cuts out the drops and fumbles. Is fumble vs Chicago and drop for int vs Miami both were huge in those losses.

I think hue will be more creative with him though and he will be our solid number 3 wr. Prob will still finish 5th or 6th in catches though.

Bengals1181
06-11-2014, 10:46 AM
I think him solely being in the slot for the most part will do wonders.

Sanu's strength is finding holes in zone coverage.

Bengals1181
06-13-2014, 09:42 AM
Bengals experimenting with Mohamed Sanu’s role … and it’s a good idea

AFC NORTH (http://nfl.si.com/category/afc-north/), CINCINNATI BENGALS (http://nfl.si.com/category/cincinnati-bengals/)

BY CHRIS BURKE (http://nfl.si.com/author/chrisburke82/)
http://sinfl.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/mohamed-sanu-blog.jpg?w=610&h=430
Mohamed Sanu came to the Bengals with promise, but has slid down the receiver depth chart. (Simon Bruty/SI)

Mohamed Sanu caught 16 passes as a little-used rookie in 2012, then bumped that total to 47 last season. Hardly anything to sneeze at considering Sanu was a Round 3 draft pick and, at 24, still has time to improve.

That 47-reception performance is somewhat misleading, though. Sanu found the end zone just twice despite starting 14 times for the Bengals. He averaged a mere 9.7 yards per catch, the 119th-best mark among players who saw enough action to qualify for the league-leaders board. By the time Cincinnati bowed out to San Diego in the postseason, Sanu had slipped behind Marvin Jones on the depth chart.
He’s still there now, tucked behind Jones and A.J. Green in the receiver pecking order. So new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson (the Bengals’ RBs coach last year) may be willing to experiment a bit to get Sanu into the mix.
Dan Hoard of the Bengals’ team website speculated that Jackson may use Sanu (http://www.bengals.com/news/article-1/How-Will-Hue-Use-Sanu/b18ccebc-9090-48cd-8136-6bb29b91cd94) in a variety of ways, similar to how Jackson employed Marcel Reese back when he was offensive coordinator and later head coach in Oakland. That includes implementing Sanu in formations that would be atypical for a receiver
“He’s got me doing some stuff,” Sanu told Hoard. “I love it. I’m embracing it and I’m going to do everything that I can to make sure that I’m the best at it.”
Reece’s usage in the Oakland offense actually increased after Jackson exited following the 2011 season — he averaged 23.5 carries and 27 catches from 2010-11; he’s at 52.5 carries and 42 catches per year since then. But the Raiders still use Reece as more than just a fullback or backup tailback.
Pictured below are a pair of shots from Oakland’s 2013 game vs. Tennessee. On the left, Reece is about to receive a direct snap out of a wildcat formation (QB Matt McGloin motioned out of the backfield to Reece’s right). And on the right, Reece is offset well to McGloin’s right in the backfield, almost occupying a slot position. The latter play featured a quick screen out to Reece.
http://sinfl.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/reese.jpg?w=618&h=265
Now, Reece weighs in at 255 pounds, so the 210-pound Sanu will be limited from some of the duties Reece took on — i.e. Sanu won’t be used as a lead blocker, unless it’s by accident or on a screen out wide. But if the goal is to utilize Sanu without simply dropping him onto the field as a slot receiver, then it certainly would make sense for Jackson to mix and match a bit.
“I’m uncommon because I can do a lot of different things and play a lot of different positions,” Sanu said. “I have a lot of different talents, but it’s up to me to show it.”
Cincinnati already boasts a great deal of versatility at running back with Gio Bernard, workhorse BenJarvus Green-Ellis and rookie Jeremy Hill. Taking away touches from a player like Bernard to give them to the less-explosive Sanu might be a counterproductive approach.
Incorporating some exotic offensive looks, however, might spice up a Bengals attack that at times can become rather vanilla. The reasons for that range from play calling to Andy Dalton’s limitations. If nothing else, it’s smart of Jackson to test out what he has during these early-summer workouts, to see if Sanu or Brandon Tate or even Cobi Hamilton can emerge as an option in the offense.
Sanu has been decent but perfectly ordinary through his first two NFL seasons. Sliding him from the No. 2 receiver spot to a Reece-esque, Swiss Army knife-type role has a chance to work, if only to allow Jackson to have A.J. Green, Jones and Sanu on the field together more often.

http://nfl.si.com/2014/06/12/mohamed-sanu-cincinnati-bengals/

mongo
06-13-2014, 09:58 AM
If I remember, one of the knocks on Sanu coming out of college was that he didn't have great focus when he was open. He preferred those contested catches, and wanted to be that guy you could throw to when he wasn't open. My disappointment with him last year was that he was getting the contested balls thrown his way, but wasn't winning the battles he likes to fight.

Bengals1181
06-13-2014, 10:12 AM
If I remember, one of the knocks on Sanu coming out of college was that he didn't have great focus when he was open. He preferred those contested catches, and wanted to be that guy you could throw to when he wasn't open. My disappointment with him last year was that he was getting the contested balls thrown his way, but wasn't winning the battles he likes to fight.

I don't remember a concentration issue, there was however a separating from man-coverage concern, which I think hurt him when he lined up out wide. He won't have as much issue with that lining up in the slot.

happyrid
06-13-2014, 11:17 AM
I think maybe the Chicago fumble got him into a little bit of a funk early. The guy obviously cares about the team and you could tell he was pretty down after essentially costing the team the game.

I like to hear that he's looking good in OTAs. One of the knocks on him has always been that he was just an okay practice player for whatever reason. Even during his rookie year where he looked great in games, he reportedly had not looked great in practice and it came as a bit of a surprise when he all of a sudden started making a bunch of plays in the games. He's a "gamer" and if he is looking this good in practice, it wouldn't surprise if he looks great in the real games.

I like that Hue is using Marvin Jones to challenge AJ and Sanu to challenge Jones. Competition makes guys better.

mongo
06-13-2014, 10:17 PM
I don't remember a concentration issue, there was however a separating from man-coverage concern, which I think hurt him when he lined up out wide. He won't have as much issue with that lining up in the slot.

It was in his pre-draft bio. Said he didn't like that number one or two role, and seem to give it his best. He liked the contested stuff in the slot.

Tigris
06-13-2014, 11:53 PM
I think he's gonna be one of those unsung hero guys this year like Jason Avant was for Philly for years. With an emphasis on the run, his size and strength is going to come up big for us. Probably won't ever get a lot of recognition but us fans but the coaches will praise him in the film room the next day.

Bengals1181
06-14-2014, 08:25 AM
I think he's gonna be one of those unsung hero guys this year like Jason Avant was for Philly for years. With an emphasis on the run, his size and strength is going to come up big for us. Probably won't ever get a lot of recognition but us fans but the coaches will praise him in the film room the next day.



I'll be curious to see if on running plays if Sanu gets the nod over Eifert as far as personnel goes.

Bengals1181
06-16-2014, 02:03 PM
They say he looks stronger and faster. That only makes him more dangerous as a gadget player.


I think he'll mostly be used to run, but knowing Hue we can expect a pass or two, just to keep the threat out there.