The Bengals play the Chicago Bears in preseason game number 1. Below are key players to keep an eye on during the game.
1. Billy Price – Center – A lot of people will say that the Bengals were targeting Frank Ragnow with their first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but as many of you know he was taken just ahead of the Bengals pick by the Detroit Lions. The Bengals ended up with former Ohio State center, Billy Price instead. Price injured himself at the 2018 combine, hurting his draft stock, but is back healthy and expected to start right away for the Bengals offensive line. Price has been struggling with getting clean snaps to Andy Dalton all during training camp. Price is sure to be the “center” of attention on offense tonight, as he is expected to start with the first team.
2. Joe Mixon – Running Back – The Bengals 2017 second round pick is facing tall orders this year with high expectations from inside and outside the organization. Mixon struggled as a rookie, in large part to the offensive line, but showed flashes of greatness throughout the year. Now, as the unquestioned starter, and Jeremy Hill gone to New England, Mixon is expected to be the Bengals three down bell cow. Mixon is also setting big goals for himself for 2018, when asked if he has his touchdown dances ready he responded, “I have one for every game”. Bengals fans everywhere will be hoping he can showcase 16 touchdown dances this year.
3. Cedric Ogbuehi vs. Bobby Hart – Right Tackle – The Bengals spent a first round pick on Ogbuehi back in 2015, and up until now has been a bust for the Bengals. The New York Giants used a seventh round pick on Hart in the same draft. Now, in 2018, both will be battling it out for the right tackle position on the Cincy o-line. This is one of the key position battles to watch during the preseason. For now, Hart is being listed as the starter but coach Marvin Lewis eluded that there is no official first team yet, which means the right tackle spot is still up for grabs. Expect Hart to start tonight, with Ogbuehi expected to get a lot of time with the second team.
4. John Ross – Wide Receiver – It would be impossible to write this without mentioning former first round pick John Ross. After a disastrous rookie campaign, Ross is back healthy and turning heads in camp. So much in fact that the Bengals released veteran Brandon LaFell. Ross is now expected to be the Bengals WR2 and line up on the outside opposite of AJ Green, replacing LaFell. With Green pulling the safety to his side of the field, Ross could see favorable one on one matchups this year. With no lack of speed or pedigree, Ross could
be the missing piece to pull the Bengals back to the top of the NFL ranks. He will be the number one fan favorite to watch tonight.
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