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Thread: Rookie Check-In

  1. #21
    NFL Week 1 Bengals rookie report: Joe Mixon, Carl Lawson flash amidst abomination


    The Bengals are 0-1 after Sunday, but the 2017 draft class looked promising

    by John Sheeran@John__Sheeran Sep 13, 2017, 10:00am EDT

    Aaron Doster-USA TODAY SportsThe Cincinnati Bengals lost in an ugly fashion in their season opener against the Baltimore Ravens, and now for the first time since 2013, they’re 0-1.

    You’d be hard pressed to find bright spots in a shutout loss at home against a divisional rival, but there’s always the youngins. The Bengals kept seven of their 11 draft picks from this year’s draft, and they activated five of them along with two undrafted players as well.

    Let’s break down their debuts in this week’s rookie report.


    Joe Mixon
    Jordan Willis
    Carl Lawson
    Ryan Glasgow
    Jordan Evans
    Cethan Carter
    Hardy Nickerson

    John Ross
    Josh Malone

    Joe Mixon

    How the Bengals would divvy up the snaps between its three running backs was one of the bigger questions entering this game, Mixon ended up taking 22 of them which accounted for 36% of the offensive snap count. Whether it was planned or not going into the game, Mixon ended up with the most touches from the Bengals three-headed backfield with 11. He gained a total of 23 yards on those touches, and 17 of them came on these two plays.

    Outside of these 13 seconds of game time, Mixon struggled to get anything going. He finished the game with eight carries for nine yards on the ground, and 15 yards off three receptions. He was the least impressive ball carrier on paper in comparison to Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill, but all of them for the majority of the game struggled to find holes against Baltimore’s opposing front.
    It was good to see Mixon not be shunned of an opportunity out of the gate, yet running behind Russell Bodine and T.J. Johnson for most of the game while your passing game is plagued with a -1.00 adjusted net yards per attempt (not a typo), he can be forgiven this week.

    Jordan Willis

    When starting right defensive end Michael Johnson exited the game with a stinger, Willis was forced to step up and be more than just a situational pass rusher. He wasn’t very present in the Ravens backfield, but like Mixon, his best moments came back to back:

    After taking on the pulling center and failing to get outside, he loses his feet all together and ends up on his knees. Fortunately, running back Terrance West bends back the outside zone to Willis’ gap and Willis manages to help bring him down along with Pat Sims. On the very next play, he keeps his eyes in the backfield and reads the pulling guard, then penetrating the backfield and recording the tackle for loss with the help of Vincent Rey.

    Carl Lawson

    While Willis looked solid in run defense, Carl Lawson provided a spark in the team’s pass-rushing sub package. He was the first non-starter subbed into the game on defense, and his presence was made as soon as possible.

    You’re just not getting that from Johnson anymore. Lawson also worked in tandem with Geno Atkins for the Bengals only sack of the game.

    Pro Football Focus had Lawson as the most productive edge rusher on Sunday, topping the likes of Calais Campbell and Justin Houston:
    View image on Twitter


    Pro Football Focus

    The most productive edge rushers from Week 1
    10:47 AM - Sep 11, 2017

    Lawson finished just behind Willis with 23 snaps to Willis’ 26, and both should see a potential increase in playing time if Johnson can’t go against Houston on Thursday.

    Ryan Glasgow

    The first defensive tackle to sub into the game was not Andrew Billings, it was Glasgow, who gave Atkins a breather in the middle of the first drive. Glasgow’s going to be the backup 3-technique this year, a role the Bengals have not filled very well of late, but Glasgow looked pretty good for his first game. He also filled in at nose tackle when Sims and Billings were off the field. In total, he played 26 snaps, which actually doubled Billings’ total at 13.

    Jordan Evans

    One of the true preseason stars for the Bengals, Evans first came on the field in base sets in the second quarter, giving Rey a quick rest every now and then at weakside linebacker. Him and Minter worked in perfect cohesion to stop this West run for no gain:

    Evans’ snap count reached 12, and like the other rookies, he played relatively well amongst the chaos around him.

    Cethan Carter and Hardy Nickerson

    The two surprises on the initial 53 man roster were both active on Sunday, but only Nickerson recorded a snap, a single one to be exact. With John Ross possibly making his debut this Thursday and Adam Jones returning off his one game suspension, one of these guys may get booted off the roster. For the time being though, they’re both getting ready for Houston.

    Coming up

    The Bengals showed that they still have a lot of problems, but the newest additions didn’t seem to be a part of their shortcomings. If they expect to bounce back in primetime in a couple of days against a team they’ve only beaten once in nine years, relying on these guys may be more necessary than they realize. We can’t expect it, but we can at least hope Ross makes his debut as well.

  2. #22
    I wondered who would be the first writer to use the O-line as an excuse for....Mixon.

    This isn't funny anymore. Ross needs to play.

    Lawson belongs.

    Biggest story IMO is Glasgow gets 26 snaps and Ringo gets the door. Bengals made a clear choice.

    Billings flashed. Caught my eye several times.

  3. #23
    Jj dielman back on the practice squad

  4. #24
    NFL Week 2 Bengals rookie report: Jordan Willis starts, John Ross benched vs Texans


    It was not long before Ross left the field on Thursday night, only it wasn’t injury that took him off it

    by John Sheeran@John__Sheeran Sep 20, 2017, 7:00am EDT

    Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

    In a span of 107 hours, the Cincinnati Bengals went from hopeful to desperate. Now sitting at 0-2 on a week-and-a-half break, they’ve given opportunities to their youngest players and taken away some in return as well. Here’s our week 2 rookie report from the Thursday night disappointment against Houston:


    John Ross
    Joe Mixon
    Jordan Willis
    Carl Lawson
    Ryan Glasgow
    Jordan Evans
    Cethan Carter
    Hardy Nickerson


    Josh Malone

    John Ross

    All offseason long, the two primary topics surrounding the John Ross dialog were: how much he would impact the offense, and how well the offense would actually use him.

    Turns out, the optimists win round one.

    Ross went off against a depleted Texas secondary. He hauled in five receptions off six targets and racked up 112 yards in an electrifying performance in his first ever game, which included a 53-touchdown off a slant route for his first career touchdown.

    Many thought head coach Marvin Lewis would bench the rookie after he fumbled his first touch on a reverse handoff. But Lewis, against his predominantly stingy nature towards younger players, kept Ross in the game for the greater good, and it sure panned out for...

    Well, we know that never happened.

    Ross never saw the field after that fumble. He was benched after Kareem Jackson made a literal heads-up play by jarring the ball loose from Ross’s tight grip with his cranium.

    Say that happens to A.J. Green. There’s not a chance in the world he gets benched. There’s no need for an explanation why. His value to the entire scheme of things is topped by no one. You can’t bench him for a fluke fumble that very little in his position would be able to prevent. It would be ridiculous. Sometimes the other guy makes a tremendous play. You move onto the next one.

    Ross carried his own significant value in this game, and all of it was diminished because of implied social contract between Lewis and the young players that he is a major part of acquiring months prior to every season. He was capable of coming back from that play and at the very least providing a wrinkle in an offense with an identity crisis, and his one mistake prevented any of that from occurring.

    The vast disparity between the lack of off-field discipline and the overage of inconvenient on-field discipline from Lewis towards his players is one of the biggest blemishes on his now 15-year resume in Cincinnati.

    Joe Mixon

    After an unpleasing stat line last week, Mixon came away with modest production on continued limited work. He ran for 36 yards on nine carries on 16 snaps. He’s yet to achieve a run longer than eight yards, but we can look at the little things on a better performance than four days prior.

    Creating your own yards as a back is such an intangible process at its core. Like a quarterback identifying the safeties and looking them off when progressing the field in the pocket, the way Mixon can look off linebackers behind the line of scrimmage is impressive.

    When plays like these aren’t blocked well at the first level, the defense has to maintain their run fits and not get caught behind the mess, or else the slightest holes can open up and negative yardage can turn into a routine 4-5 yards, as we see for the first and third plays respectively. Mixon can accelerate off the jump cut and preserve his balance to get skinny through the hole, or make someone else miss sequentially.

    That third play is textbook effective patience, he presses the line and gets the linebackers to stack on top of one another, effectively creating a lane where the alley player in the form of the safety has to come in and make the stop. It’d be great if they actually allow Mixon to get into a rhythm and not force a three-back committee down the game plan’s throat. Maybe that’s on new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor’s agenda. We’ll see.
    Jordan Willis

    The first member of the Bengals 2017 draft class to record a game started is Jordan Willis at right defensive end. He didn’t do too much as a pass rusher, as Carl Lawson supplanted him on third down for the most part, but he looked pretty solid in run defense. He rarely lost the edge and showed some of the snap-to-whistle hustle that the Bengals loved about him at Kansas State. Here he is stacking and shedding backup left tackle Chris Clark:

    Quarterback Deshaun Watson had that 49 rushing touchdown, and rushed for 18 yards on his four other carries, he went nowhere on this read option because of Willis:

    With this start under his belt, Willis is up to 71 snaps on the season, and with Michael Johnson’s concussion clouding his chances to go in week 3, Willis looks to be in line to start against Green Bay, who just played Atlanta without both of their starting tackles.

    Carl Lawson

    Despite the decreased bodies at defensive end, Lawson actually saw a decrease in his snaps on Thursday, as he only found the field 17 times compared to the 23 snaps he saw against Baltimore. This can be attributed to Houston’s designed run percentage of 56% percent. He didn’t see the field because they only threw the ball 24 times, but he still got a hit on Watson. And he’s tied for the league lead among rookie edge rushers in pressures:

    Mike Renner

    Most pressures among rookie defensive linemen:

    1 (tie). Deatrich Wise, Patriots (7)
    1 (tie). Carl Lawson, Bengals (7)
    2:00 PM - Sep 18, 2017

    Going from Houston to Green Bay will mean a lot more nickel packages for the Bengals defense to try and slow down Aaron Rodgers, so expect Lawson to see the field a bit more.

    Ryan Glasgow

    Once again the newer fourth-round defensive tackle out snapped the fourth-round pick from a year ago in Andrew Billings. He’s fully entrenched in that backup 3 technique spot behind Geno Atkins, but he hasn’t quite made an impact when relieving the all-pro. He wasn’t the most productive interior player in college, and he doesn’t have tremendous athleticism to help him out early on, so like most in his position, he’s just going through the motions and learning as he goes.

    Glasgow is one of the three true first-year guys making major contributions on this defensive line. The splash plays will come, the hope is there’s not too many trash plays in between, and so far, he’s been in position and filling gaps.

    Jordan Evans, Cethan Carter and Hardy Nickerson

    All three of these rookies were active but did not see the field other than on special teams. It’s unclear whether tight end C.J. Uzomah is soon to come back from his knee injury, and with the recent news of Tyler Eifert’s uncertainty for week 3, maybe it’s Carter’s time for snaps at the position.

    Coming up

    No one likes starting 0-2, and math says any playoff chances are all but evaporated. If this team wants to avoid the even worse 0-3 start, they have to bit the bullet with Ross and Mixon. They have to allow them to make mistakes, and trust them to recover and do more good than bad.

    You don’t get better at football by not playing football. If this staff with a new face calling the plays has any intention of getting into the endzone, those two have to be involved more than they have been.

  5. #25
    watching the clips in the link, there's really nothing Ross could have done better on that fumble. It was just a great hit in the exact right spot. No stopping that.

  6. #26
    Not surprised at all to see Deatrich Wise consistently showing up in leading rookie rushers.

    Already has two sacks and tons of pressures.

    Went 131 (4th) overall, and I was mocked in some places for pegging him as a fringe 1st-2nd guy. Looks like his senior season was a fluke marred by injury, and his junior season was real. He's going to be a beast.

  7. #27
    My Early Draft Grades

    John Ross - F - He's already got one coach fired. Why stop there? Bengal fans are outraged by the way Marvin Lewis mismanaged Ross after his fumble against the Texans, but the sad truth is Lewis has mismanaged Ross from the moment his name was called on draft day. My gut tells me the Bengals have absolutely no plan for developing Ross and drafted him soley because he ran a 4.22.

    Joe Mixon - F - It's hard to describe his performance as anything but a complete failure, but Cincy writers will sure try. Hey, he showed textbook patience, right?

    Jordan Willis - D - Now that preseason is over all the Bengals ask him to do is set the edge. Most plays he literally stands up at the snap, take a couple of steps outside, and then breaks off his rush.

    Carl Lawson - D+ I gave him a D plus because the Bengals are actually using him a little in the role he was drafted to play. Go figure, ehh?

    Ryan Glasgow F+ - He's playing more than anyone might have guessed. Sadly, his actual production is comparable to a dead guy, although admittedly Glasgow has a much better motor.

    Bottom Line: On paper the Bengals are a vastly improved team from last years squad, but recent snap counts document how little playing time the rookies are getting, and a quick second glance reveals how little the Bengals are asking of their rookie class when they do get a chance.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    San Antoino, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post
    watching the clips in the link, there's really nothing Ross could have done better on that fumble. It was just a great hit in the exact right spot. No stopping that.
    I understood they wanted to get him the ball, but I would have like to see him get it as a WR. Get the ball on a quick slant or a quick out, in a position where a WR normally functions. He was in an area, especially for his size, where he shouldn't be handling the ball. Another example of not knowing your players, and putting them in the best position to excel

  9. #29
    I mean, seriously, he's an actual WR. Why won't they just let him, yaknow, run routes?

    So far they've only given him the ball 3 times. One pass in a pre-season game, that he caught, the jet sweep in the pre-season game where he got hurt, and the jet sweep in the Houston game where he fumbled.

    Just throw him the damn ball in space - on the move, and let him run. Like the Steelers do with Antonio Brown. This isn't ****in' rocket science.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    I mean, seriously, he's an actual WR. Why won't they just let him, yaknow, run routes?

    Just throw him the damn ball in space - on the move, and let him run. Like the Steelers do with Antonio Brown. This isn't ****in' rocket science.
    No, but it does require a QB who can throw it high enough that it doesn't get tipped at the line, but low enough that a player can catch it.


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