Bengals' Estonian rookie may debut Sunday

Bengals' Estonian rookie may debut Sunday
September 20, 2013, 9:45 am

Those who watched HBO’s “Hard Knocks” know how his Bengals teammates liked to bring up “Rocky” character Ivan Drago to rookie defensive end Margus Hunt, a native of Estonia. When Hunt likely lines up for his first official NFL action Sunday against the Packers, the Bengals don’t necessarily want him to break anybody, but just to understand what’s going on.

Hunt, a second-round draft pick from SMU, was inactive for Cincinnati’s first two games, but the Bengals are a down a man on the defensive line with a season-ending injury to end Robert Geathers, so it may now be Hunt’s time.

He’ll just need to figure out: What’s the deal that tight end?

Hunt didn’t play football until he came to the U.S. as a track athlete (discus, shot put, hammer), so his learning curve has been steep regardless. But among the things he has had to deal with in his NFL acclimation are offenses with tight ends.

"We rarely saw a tight end [in college]," Hunt said (via ESPN.com). "Here you have two tight ends, two running backs and you have to sort through the personnel groups. It's a different scouting report, and it took me a bit of time to sort through what to look at and get a better feel of what the offense is doing."

And when he does, the AFC North better watch out. Hunt is a 6-foot-8, 280-pounder who ran a 4.51 in the 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine.

"I'm ready to go," Hunt said. "I mean, I've been ready to play."