Mike Hilton Praises Jessie Bates: 'He's the Best Safety' in the NFL

This is big-time praise from one of the Bengals' biggest free agent additions.
Author:
Publish date:

CINCINNATI — The Bengals' defense is hoping to take a step forward this offseason after adding proven veterans like Mike Hilton, Chidobe Awuzie and Trey Hendrickson. 

Hilton is familiar with Cincinnati after spending the first four seasons of his career in Pittsburgh. The 27-year-old played on one of the NFL's best defenses. He's hoping to take that experience and use it to buoy the Bengals back to relevancy this season. 

"They brought me here for a reason," Hilton said on Monday. "I want to be a leader on and off the field, so I know one starts in the classroom. And if I can have those guys trust me and know the winning mentality I can bring over, I feel like they'll follow my lead and we can turn this thing around." 

Hilton plans to lead by example, but that didn't stop him from praising Bengals safety Jessie Bates.

"He's the best safety in the game, he just doesn't get the respect he deserves. He makes just as many plays as Minkah (Fitzpatrick), Justin Simmons, all those guys," Hilton said. "The league is really starting to notice how much of an impact player he is."

Hilton would know what great safety play looks like after being teammates with Minkah Fitzpatrick for the past two seasons.  

Bates, 24, had a breakout campaign in 2020, finishing with 109 tackles, three interceptions and 15 passes defensed. If the Bengals' defense is going to take a big leap, they need Bates to lead the way on the back end. 

Why is he the best at his position? 

"Just his study habits. Especially at that position your mental game has to be off the charts," Hilton said. "I feel like that's where he starts. He puts himself in the right position to go make plays and then once the ball is in the air he has that mentality that the ball is his and it shows on film."

Make sure you bookmark AllBengals for the latest training camp news, including exclusive interviews, highlights and so much more!

You May Also Like:

Camp Notes: Joe Burrow and the Offense Continues to Struggle

Watch Practice Highlights of Jessie Bates, Ja'Marr Chase and More 

Trae Waynes, Fred Johnson Dealing With Injuries

Ja'Marr Chase Impressing Coaches and Teammates With His Football Intelligence

Bengals Legend: Joe Burrow is "Better Than I Ever Was"

A.J. Green Off to an Impressive Start for the Arizona Cardinals

Watch: Video Breakdown from Bengals Training Camp

Watch Highlights from Day 4 of Bengals Training Camp

Veteran Offensive Linemen Have Early Training Camp Lead in Battle for Starting Job

Watch Highlights from Day 3 of Bengals Training Camp

Film Breakdown: Why Ja'Marr Chase Has a Chance to be Special

Jessie Bates "Super Eager" to Agree to Contract Extension With Bengals

Joe Burrow Wants to Play in Preseason Games

Zero Dark Thirty: Joe Burrow Exits Social Media For Duration of Training Camp

Day One: Three Observations From Bengals Training Camp Practice

Will Jackson Carman Start For the Bengals in Week 1?

The Bengals Should Be Interested in Disgruntled Cornerback Xavien Howard

Mike Brown Bullish on O-Line: They're Going to "Surprise People"

A Breakdown of the Bengals Toughest Games on the 2021 Schedule

Three Down Look: Bengals Defense Under Pressure to Create Pressure

Joe Burrow Fully Cleared, But Don't Expect to See Him in the Preseason

Watch: Ja'Marr Chase Makes Amazing One-Handed Catch

Ken Anderson Has Big-Time Praise for Joe Burrow

Sam Hubbard on Joe Burrow: "Nobody is Working Harder"

DJ Reader, Trey Hopkins and Joe Burrow Get Good News

Joe Burrow Expected to be Ready for First Training Camp Practice

Bengals Extend Cincinnati-native Sam Hubbard Before Training Camp

The Quest to Protect Burrow: Bengals Bringing in Super Bowl Champion Center

Film Breakdown: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly for Left Tackle Jonah Williams

Bengals Bolster O-Line With Former Cardinals Center

Bengals Ring of Honor Revealed: The Two Ken's Join the Inaugural Class

Here are the Important Preseason and Training Camp Dates You Need to Know

Bengals Pass Blocking Expected to be Much Improved This Season

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly From Vonn Bell's First Season in Stripes

Mike Brown Praises NFL Legend: 'The Greatest QB I Ever Saw Play'

Former NFL Scout Believes Chase and Burrow Will Have Huge Season

Film Breakdown: DJ Reader Should Be an Impact Player for the Bengals

Join the Faces of Who Dey Nation for Thursday Night Football

-----

Be sure to keep it locked on AllBengals all the time!

Subscribe to the AllBengals YouTube channel
Follow AllBengals on Twitter: @AllBengals

Like and follow AllBengals on Facebook