Agreed. I seem to remember conversations last year about how Z hadn't improved and instead regressed, and whether it made sense to keep him on the 5th year extension. What a difference a year can make.
Originally Posted by Jason_NC
I'm definitely apprehensive about the OL - but I'm not taking "OL gonna be terrible" as a foregone conclusion:
LT - We have a lot riding on Ogbuehi taking a big step. He was bad last year, but also playing out of position, and essentially a rookie. Now he's healthy and I thinkthere's a really strong chance he has a nice year on the left side. He's not gonna be Whit, but let's face it, the Bengals had to go to the future at LT sooner or later.
LG - Boling's fine. Solid player. Glad to have him.
C - Bodine... well, he could improve.
RG - Between TJ Johnson, Westerman, and now Andre, I frankly don't think they'll miss a beat at this spot. The Bengals have had plenty of success plugging and playing at guard with guys like Mike Pollak.
RT - Ogbuehi wasn't good here last year. Fisher locking down this spot should be a nice upgrade.
ORANGE n BLACK
It's not a stretch to imagine Smith could be better. zeitlers play regressed every year, and was borderline average last year. Maybe we could blame it on his surrounding cast, but a truly elite guy wouldn't have that happen.
IMO you don't have to like the way the Bengals do business, but you do have to give them the chance to put their plan in place. They're quick to argue they've adequately replaced important players before, from JJoe to Marvin and Sanu, and on paper they've addressed the losses of Whit and Zeitler reasonably well. That said, my gut tells me this is a bigger gamble as they've got so much riding on players who aren't just unproven, but proven failures.
Originally Posted by Orange n Black
My take of where they are right now. More changes to come.
LT - The Bengals are quick to remind you that Ogbuehi is finally going to have a spring. So that leaves it to me to further remind you how they said the exact same thing the year before.
LG - I haven't complained about Boling since his 2nd season. Can't really point to a breakthrough moment, but he kept getting better until there was nothing to complain about.
OC - There are some interesting options at OC in the coming draft and for once the very best prospects aren't projected to be selected anywhere near the 1st round. If Bodine's temporary demotion last season was a bigger deal than the coaching staff let on they may use a mid round pick or continue experimenting with Westerman at OC. I seem to recall a source guessing that was a 2-year project.
RG - Smith may be new to the position but he knows the players, the playbook, the terminology, and he's familiar with Alexander's "unique" coaching methods.
RT - I always felt Fishers best spot was ORG, but he loudly disagrees. So I'll defer for the moment. Regardless, I think Fisher has far less to prove than Ogbuehi, and I'm far more comfortable with Fisher starting the season here than I was last year when Ced was handed the job.
Get a guy who you feel comfortable with at Tackle/Guard in the first few rounds (and maybe get lucky enough to get a falling Lamp/Robinson/Bolles/Ramzyck in the 2nd) and grab developmental LT in the later rounds (it's actually a good year for athletes with measurables but not the training to develop), and IMO we'd end up with as good as we could expect. Getting a C/G in the draft who could replace Bodine would be cream on top.
This is where I'm at.
Originally Posted by alleycat
Early 2nd or early 3rd round is a high enough pick for an interior guy where you feel pretty good about their chances of being able to play immediately if needed.
That gives you the flexibility to move Andre back to RT if needed and you only need one of Fisher/Ogbuehi to be a starter. You hope both pan out, but as long as one of them is solid, you have the depth to make it work.
Hahahahahaha Jesus Christ this is great. A guy who we didn't ever really want back, who was injured all year last year, who has never played OG is going to be better than a top 5 OG. Hahahahahaha my God.
Yep I'm concerned about Andre's transition to RG and even if successful, he's not Zeitler... who I think struggled early on last year, but it didn't help at all that Ced was next to him. Zeitler played a lot better the second half of the season, IMO.
I do think Fisher will turn out fine at RT, and Boling is very solid. Ced is a risk for sure... haven't really seen anything to suggest that he'll be good there, but he does have a full offseason to work at it. Bodine has improved, but I still don't call him anything more than average. I would like to see Westerman get a shot at some playing time somewhere. He's surprisingly athletic, he's very strong and he plays with some nastiness. And TJ, if nothing else, is versatile and hasn't looked out of place when inserted into "real" games.
It's a classy move. We'll see how that goes. The tweet video Ced posted suggested he's getting after it in the weight room. For me, it's the mindset he needs to work on. I want to see that protecting Andy is important to him.... I'll take holding calls, and other flags from him if it means he's decided no one will get past him. Looking like a dummy as his guy flies by him has to stop.
Originally Posted by kennethmw
We'll see. I'm not getting worked up until I see this new line in the preseason. The universal criticism the line is taking in the offseason can be a back-breaker, but it can also be the foundation for a unit to pull together.