Alexander basically confirms Smith is the starting RG
Andre offers giant flexibility as Bengals go on guard
Posted 4 hours ago
Andre Smith has already played 82 games as a Bengal.
The Bengals went back to the future Tuesday to solve the departure of right guard Kevin Zeitler to Cleveland when old friend Andre Smith agreed to a Paul Brown Stadium reunion. According to an ESPN report Smith is headed back to the place where it all began in the 2009 draft.It looks like it will be a familiar face in a new place.
Indications are the Bengals are going to play Smith at right guard next to new starting right tackle Jake Fisher. Smith, 30, who started 73 games at right tackle for the Bengals over seven seasons before taking a one-year deal in Minnesota last year, doesn’t have an NFL start at guard. But he’s practiced there for the Bengals and it has long been thought that his powerful frame, sheer strength, and athletic feet would make him an elite guard.
Smith comes with a well-known pedigree. In Bengals’ history, only left tackle Andrew Whitworth’s six post-season appearances are more than the five of Smith, wide receiver A.J. Green, quarterback Andy Dalton, and wide receiver Brandon Tate on the offensive side of the ball.
The Smith signing gives them mega flexibility. The Bengals are showing enormous faith in their young tackles, but since they don’t have a backup for Cedric Ogbuehi at left tackle Fisher could be an option in case of injury.
Smith, the sixth overall player taken, becomes the second high-profile choice from the 2009 draft to return to Cincinnati. He joins right end Michael Johnson, a third-round pick that spent a year in Tampa Bay before coming back in 2015. Two other defensive linemen, Pat Sims (Oakland) and Wallace Gilberry (Detroit) left and came back .Gilberry is a free agent who could return.
When Smith became a free agent last season, they thought they had his replacement in Ogbuehi, a first-round pick himself who primarily played left tackle at Texas A&M. But Ogbuehi never adjusted to right tackle and was benched after allowing eight sacks in 11 games. After Eric Winston started the next two games, Fisher, a 2015 second-round pick, started the last three games. Winston, who joined the Bengals late in 2014 when Smith suffered a season-ending torn tricep, has also re-signed.
The reunion with Smith soothes a transition on the offensive line that began last week when Zeitler went to the Browns and Whitworth went to the Rams. Smith was a rookie the last time the offensive line underwent such a massive change. He couldn’t play early on in his rookie year because of a broken foot and made just one start when he returned for the last six games.
That year Whitworth became the permanent left tackle and new starters at left guard (undrafted Nate Livings), at center (undrafted Kyle Cook) and right tackle (fourth-rounder Anthony Collins and undrafted Dennis Roland along with Smith) played well enough to help the Bengals to a 10-6 record and a sweep of their division games.
Smith looks to be recovering from tearing his other tricep early last season.
Whelp, we wondered it aloud. Or at least I did.
What's great is that he offers up to four spots of PT.
And what's interesting for you who doubted, the official mouthpiece is already pegging Fisher at left Tackle "in case of injury" to Oghebui. Or you know, him sucking a$$.
sounds like they shelled out a little extra (than they probably wanted) to ensure he didn't choose Buffalo. Interestingly, he's making more with the Bengals this year than he signed for last year with Minnesota ($3.5M)
Makes some sense. Could also be a steadying influence for Fisher, as Boling could be next to Ced.
Assuming he gets his fat a@@ out of the stance on cue, Andre could be a hellacious run blocker and someone who won't get bull-rushed much.
Is it possible they could be better at 4 of 5 OL positions this year than last?
The money isn't that surprising. There was an earlier article that guessed he might sign for less than he got in Minnesota, perhaps for as little as 2m, but the whole piece seemed unrealistic and slightly vindictive, as if the Bengals would want to embarrass and punish Smith for past negotiations even as they signed him to stop the bleeding on the OL.
There are two things I like very much. First, it's only a 1-year "prove it" deal. That's perfect IMO when dealing with a player with Smith's history of injury. Second, the Bengals seem reluctant to pull the starting ORT job away from Fisher, the only real concern I had expressed before the signing. Fisher sounded pretty happy he had finally earned playing time at his natural position, and unlike with Ogbuehi moving to OLT the promotion seemed to have been earned...rather than simply given.
So you think Ogbuehi will be better than Whit? Because there's no chance in hell Smith is better than a top 5 OG in Zeitler
Originally Posted by Jason_NC
Why not? He is big and strong enough to play OG and athletic enough to play OT. If he can stay healthy I see no reason why he couldn't be a better guard than Zeitler.
Originally Posted by tubbs1518