Former 49ers safety Taylor Mays is making a name for himself in Cincinnati Bengals camp, according to a report on the Bengals.com.
Mays has been taking snaps with the Bengals' first-team defense throughout OTAs, and appears to be finally capitalizing on his tremendous athleticism.
Says Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com:"Everyone knows Mays is a special athlete. The 49ers knew it when they took him in the second round in 2010 and they knew it when they traded him to the Bengals on the eve of the '11 season. Their new coaches made the call that they didn't want to deal with his transition, but Mays keeps impressing here with that athleticism. Last week word was he ran stride-for-stride with (A.J.) Green on Andy Dalton's 57-yard strike."The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder out of USC apparently didn't mesh well with former coach Mike Singletary's "tough love" system. Mays played in all 16 games of his rookie season, but recorded just 38 tackles -- 11 coming in one game -- and was traded to Cincinnati just before the 2011 season.
Mays played in just 10 games last season for the Bengals and recorded 10 tackles. But now, Mays says, he understands playing safety is more about reliability than flashiness.
"Consistency is what you need at safety," Mays told Bengals.com. "You make a mistake and it can be fatal to a game.
"The first thing I'm thinking about is getting my assignments right and then playing technique sound."
Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer says while Mays is progressing, there is still more growing to be done.
"In some areas; still got a ways to go," Zimmer said. "(He needs) consistency. Doing things right. Discipline. Accountability. Whoever lines up there, that is what I want: accountability. Day in and day out."
For Mays, the ability to play "day in and day out" is making a difference to him.
"When you know what to expect and how you're supposed to play things, that makes a world of difference," Mays said. "It's the little things that add up on a daily basis."