Skip to main content

Quick Hits: Bengals CB Coach Charles Burks Turns Senior Bowl Assignment Into Field Trip; Bengals Moving The Chains; Is The Next Iosivas Here?

Secondary Coach Charles Burks (left) and CB Cam Taylor-Britt run a drill during practice at the IEL indoor Practice Facility in Cincinnati, Ohio on Friday, January 13 2023.
Secondary Coach Charles Burks (left) and CB Cam Taylor-Britt run a drill during practice at the IEL indoor Practice Facility in Cincinnati, Ohio on Friday, January 13 2023.

MOBILE., Ala _ The last time Charles Burks coached here in the Senior Bowl three years ago, he was in charge of the Dolphins cornerbacks and first caught the eye of Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo.

Now he's Anarumo's secondary coach in Cincinnati and even though he's coaching the cornerbacks of the National team, Burks is treating the week as if he's the defensive coordinator.

That's the job Burks says Bengals head coach Zac Taylor recommended him for at the biggest college all-star game of them all. When the title went to a former Bengals cornerbacks coach in Daronte Jones, the Vikings' current passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach, Burks, as he is known to do, has been thinking about his approach.

"I'm going to try and approach it like I'm the defensive coordinator for an NFL team," said Burks Monday, his team taking the field first at Tuesday morning's practice at Hancock Whitney Field in the runup to Sunday's 1 p.m. game on NFL Network.

"I'm going to pay attention to the defensive linemen. I'm going to pay attention to the linebackers. I'm going to do my own writeups after practice. Regardless of my title, I can always create responsibilities for myself and get myself prepared for the next stage of my career."

The Bengals have drafted 12 players out of this game since Zac Taylor became head coach five years ago. The coaching staff no longer attends, but Burks plans to bring back plenty of intel for the scouts in a bid to bring in a couple more.

"I'll be trying to look at both sides of the ball. Try to watch both teams. Get familiar with the names," Burks says. "One thing when you transition to a coordinator and out of a position coach, you have to look at the whole thing with the volume of names and the retention of the details and get familiar with the entire unit."

Burks has already one starting cornerback plucked out of the Senior Bowl when the Bengals took Cam Taylor-Britt in the 2022 second round and the one he's got in the first-second-round range this week in Toledo's Quinyon Mitchell, ranked sixth on the cornerback board by He's also got the ninth in Penn State's Kalen King.

The 6-0, 196-pound Mitchell and the 5-11, 191-pound King have more to offer than 4.5 second, 40-yard dashes. Mitchell is freakishly strong, draft buzz says, with 21 bench presses of 225 pounds, and King is a bright player with versatility.

But Burks says he finds lower-rated guys in big programs interesting, such as Maxx Melton of Rutgers, Cam Hart of Notre Dame, and Chau Smith-Wade of Washington State.

"There's a lot of quality secondary players in this draft," Burks says.

SLANTS AND SCREENS: If it's not Bengals radio voice Dan Hoard, then the hardest workers in show business have to be on Sirius NFL Radio in the person of "Moving The Chains," hosts Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan. They worked Sunday's AFC title game in Baltimore and were on a Crack of Dawn plane here in time to do Monday's show.

Here are their takes on the Bengals.

Miller: "What's not to like? Many still think Joe Burrow is the best quarterback in that division. When you've got a guy like that, you've always got a chance. Kind of like Patrick Mahomes. There's talent. Trey Hendrickson on defense? I put him on my All Pro ballot."

KIRWAN: "Who are you bringing back to keep this going? Tee Higgins? Tyler Boyd? To me, those are the big questions for you guys this offseason. Who are you going to bring back who's free?" …

Andrew Johnson, the long-time Bengals' East Coast scout, comes into this week loving the matchup between FBS and FCS players during the practices and the game. Last season, a small-school guy in his area, Princeton wide receiver Andrei Iosivas, made a big splash with the big boys this week on his way to the Bengals taking him in the sixth round and becoming their most productive offensive rookie.

"Andrei was the perfect Senior Bowl player," Johnson said Monday. "That's what this game really shows you. Can those guys who didn't play against great competition hold up every day down here?"

Who is the next Iosivas? Johnson made a campus visit to the University of New Hampshire to catch running back  Dylan Laube, 5-95 210-pound running back playing for the Nationals. Certainly doesn't possess the size or the speed of an Iosivas, but he was so monstrously productive at Durham:

First in the nation in all-purpose yards and second in both total touchdowns and scoring. No. 3 in kick returns, No. 8 in combined kick returns and receptions per game. And, No. 16 in punt returns while  compiling 2,095 all-purpose yards.

"That's the toughest thing to project. How those guys are going to translate to the pros. That's what you love to find out." …

The small-school nuggets just aren't in the East. Houston Christian edge rusher Jalyx Hunt is playing for the American team while South Dakota State running back Isaiah Davis lines up for the Nationals …