Good news first: if the offensive line of the Cincinnati Bengals had played at the college level in 2017, they’d have been first-team All Americans.
Bad news: they played in the NFL and like players fresh out of college, and that led to the team being dead last in the league in total offense. The Bengals averaged only 280.5 yards of offense per game.
It’s a painful reminder of how the line struggled in recent years under long time O-line coach Paul Alexander. He was let go in the off-season by coach Marvin Lewis and subsequently hired for the same position by the Dallas Cowboys.
Which is funny, because Cincy did the same thing in reverse. They hired Frank Pollack, who was fired by Dallas. We call it the Circle of Life – except it has nothing to do with either a circle or life. (awkward pause ……) Let’s move on, shall we?
Here are some other moves that will hopefully get the Cincinnati Bengals’ ability to move the ball off the NFLoor.
What Have the Cincinnati Bengals Done?
Going for Glenn. Cincinnati swapped first-round draft picks with the Bills to get offensive tackle Cordy Glenn. The 6-6, 345 lb Buffalo Boulder (okay, we made that up) has started 77 games in his pro career. He was good enough in Buffalo to earn a 5-year, $65 million contract extension in 2016. Although he battled foot and ankle problems last year, he’s only 28 years old. He’s got plenty of time left.
What going for Glenn gets you. As part of the Glenn deal, the Cincinnati Bengals went from having the 12th pick in the draft to the 21st. And they still nabbed a promising prospect in Ohio State center Billy Price. Price won the Rimington Award (best center in college football) and was the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2017.
Adding more OTs. Bobby Hart came in from the Giants, which will hopefully provide some motivation for Jake Fisher and Cedric Ogbuehi. The three will battle for the right tackle spot. The team did lose Andre Smith, but drafted Rod Taylor out of Mississippi in the seventh round.
Losing Bodine, gaining better. Ever hear the one about the Cincinnati Bengals losing Russell Bodine and becoming a worse football team? Yeah, neither have we. Plus, with the drafting of Price, there’s more potential for the line as a unit. Give Price a year or two to hit his stride and watch out for guards Christian Westerman and Alex Redmon, who played well toward the end of last season.
Getchu some Frank! The decision to hire Pollack was, no surprise, the most crucial move. He’s got plenty of young talent to work with. He’s brings the goods, as evidenced by his 2015 line in Dallas, which was very productive and had the fewest penalties in the league. If Pollack can bring the same production and discipline to the Bengals, look out.