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Geno Atkins 'best player on the field' in Bengals camp

Buoyed by the emergence of Jeremy Hill and the return to health of A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert, the Cincinnati Bengals are set up for their most explosive offense in a decade.

If they are finally going to make it out of the Wild Card round of the playoffs, though, they will need the defense to play better than they did in allowing at least 25 points in four of the final five games last season.

With hard-hitting linebacker Vontaze Burfict's early-season status in doubt, the onus is on defensive tackle Geno Atkins to recapture his 2012 All-Pro form after playing like "just a guy" in 2014.

Prior to Atkins' 2013 ACL tear, he ranked with J.J. Watt as the game's dominant defensive linemen. Judging by practice reports, that dominance has returned this year.

"At the moment, this guy is the best player on the field either side of the ball,"'s Geoff Hobson wrote on Sunday. "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."

This comes on the heels of an impressive offseason, in which defensive line coach Jay Hayes raved that it was "scary how fast and explosive he is right now."

Atkins was once compared to the Tasmanian Devil for terrorizing guards and centers with a unique combination of leverage, strength and quickness.

If he has truly regained that difference-making form, the Bengals' roster can compete with any in the AFC this season.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses Tom Brady's lawsuit and debates which veteran players are most likely to be cut.

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