One of the more quietly impressive players for the Cincinnati Bengals during last week’s win over the Arizona Cardinals was rookie cornerback DJ Turner.
Turner, a second-round pick, got thrown to the proverbial wolves with top corner Chidobe Awuzie out. He posted multiple impressive plays in the running game and otherwise.
Now, Turner might have to see notable work again with the Seattle Seahawks, but he says he’s more than ready.
He practices against one of the league’s best trios, after all.
“A lot of times the big learning curve for a rookie comes in the games,” Turner said, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “When it comes to the Bengals, I’m not going to see three better receivers and the quarterback we have. My learning curve could have happened in camp. I’ve gone up against Ja’Marr Chase, I’ve gone up against Tee Higgins, I’ve gone up against Tyler Boyd. I’ve seen Joe Burrow. It’s really helped me mentally to where in games I see it harder in practice. That’s a blessing.”
This isn’t just praising teammates for the sake of praising teammates — most defenders would sink or swim after practicing against this offense all summer (yes, Joe Burrow is often unavailable in the summers so far, but the point still stands, especially for defensive backs).
It’s an underrated element that has helped both sides of the ball for the Bengals over the last few years and no, Turner shouldn’t be too surprised by what he sees from the Seahawks on Sunday.