Future of the OL
So I figured we'd get a thread going to discuss this as its the topic at hand at the moment.
I'll start off by saying that Whit is, well I guess was, my favorite Bengal. It sucks seeing him go, but do think he was overpaid. Who knows what the Bengals best offer was. Sounds like it may have been more about length of contract than money. It does bug me that he said the most important thing was going to a contender, and then he goes to the Rams (but at that money, can't blame him).
Zeitler, I don't think anyone's shocked that he's gone, though I did wonder if maybe they'd make a late push after they lost Whit.
As for what is left, Winston will obviously be back at some point. Simply as a mentor and emergency backup.
Boling, I think will have a bounce back year as I've stated elsewhere. I forget the exact game he injured it, but he played something like 12 games with a shoulder that needed surgery and you could definitely tell it impacted his play.
Bodine, I like more than most fans do. I don't love him, but don't think he's awful either. He's still just 24 yrs old and I think his best football is ahead of him.
Ogbuehi and Fisher: I've been a big Fisher fan since before he was even a Bengal. I see him being fine as long as they settle in on one position for him. I think making him a jack of all trades has slowed his mastery of one spot. With Ogbuehi, I do think he'll be better on the left side, and I do think he'll better with a full offseason to workout and participate in Spring practice. Is he going to be Whit? Of course not, I doubt he ever will be.
I'll say this though, and I'll start by saying I like Paul Alexander more than pretty much all of you out there. You'll be hard pressed to find a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd round OL under Paul Alexander that has been a bust. Hard pressed as in you won't find one. So I think its fair to give them the benefit of the doubt with Ogbuehi for now (my biggest complaint with Paul is he talks up guys too much).
As far as replacing Zeitler, I think we do see a push to bring in a free agent to replace him. How good of a free agent, who knows, but I don't think they are just going to rely on Westerman here, when they didn't even let him dress for a game last season. Even Jeff Driskell dressed for one game.
And as far as the prospects for this season go, this team won a division title in 2009 with with three undrafted OL starters in Nate Livings, Kyle Cook and Dennis frickin' Roland who had a combined 6 starts between them when the season started (and yes Paul Alexander deserves a lot of credit for that coaching job). So from a talent and experience standpoint, they're already better off now in Ogbuehi and Fisher than they were then.
All of this I guess leads to me to why I originally wanted to start this thread:
Could we be in line for a scheme shift?
This is not to suggest he's better in any way, but for as athletic as Whit was, Ogbuehi's probably a little more athletic.
Fisher, IMO very athletic, former TE (something also to keep in mind in his OL development, started at Oregon as a TE).
Boling, pretty athletic.
RG - not likely whoever gets the job will be more athletic than Zeitler.
Bodine - ok, not known for being overly athletic.
So what scheme could they develop, contrary to what they ran last year? Last year they were a man blocking team. Are they better off going back to zone pass blocking?
What about the run game, I know they wanted to be a pulling guard team last year, and you've lost your best puller in Zeitler. What kind of running team can they be?
and I guess I'll put this here, what do people think of Nick Mangold as a RG and backup (or compete for) center?
Jason, has Mangold ever played guard?
Mangold is a borderline HOF center...if you bring him here you move Bodine to G and let the HOF caliber guy do what he does, and I would feel much better about things then.
I fully expect to see the worst OL performance we've seen under ML in 2017. Would love nothing more than to be wrong and have guys play to their potential. But their tape suggests we are going to get bullied by every team that lines up across the ball.
Ogbuehi is the big wild card. He just seems like he was soft and immature last year. The injuries also didn't help. I suspect he has the talent if he decides he wants to really work at it and, for lack of a better term, "man up."
I put the odds of that happening at less than 50%, but it's also a realistic possibility that he improves and becomes a solid starter at LT, which would be huge.
The future for me would be
Sign Sebastian Vollmer (Not Winston)
Trade for Ty Nsekhe from the Redskins
LT Nsekhe Ogbouehi 2018
LG Boling 2019 Westerman 2019
C Mangold Johnson 2016
RG Bodine 2017 DP 2-4
RT Vollmer Fisher 2018
If he did it was in HS. He took over at center early in his OSU career and moved the incumbent center to guard.
Originally Posted by Bengals1181
I also think its realistic that we seem them go out and sign a RT and put Fisher at RG.
Possible but I'm wondering why folks want to put Fisher at G. He's very athletic and not really a phone booth kinda guy... I think T is his best spot.
Originally Posted by Bengals1181
don't get me wrong, I think Fisher can be a left tackle. I'm just trying to guess what they may end up doing
Originally Posted by texbengal