Cincinnati Bengals first-round pick Andre Smith, who worked at left tackle during the rookie minicamp earlier this month, was on the right side on this first day of voluntary team workouts — and head coach Marvin Lewis says that’s the way it’s going to stay.
“When I watched (Smith) on tape, that’s what he looked like to me. It looked like he would have an opportunity to be real successful,” Lewis said.
That the Bengals used the sixth overall pick in the draft on a right tackle — especially one who has never played the position in his life — will no doubt set off howls in some corners of Bengaldom, but if Smith develops into the next Willie Anderson, I have no problem with the move. Not, of course, that Lewis or anyone else would give a damn if I did.
Manning the left side is Andrew Whitworth, a college tackle who has played mostly at left guard for Cincinnati, though he did start 10 games in place of an injured Levi Jones in 2006. Taking his old spot is former LSU teammate Nate Livings. Livings has been on the Bengals’ practice squad for the last couple seasons and finally got a chance in 2008, when he started the final six games at LG after Whitworth hurt his ankle. The job is apparently his to lose; also in the mix are linemen Evan Mathis and Andrew Crummy.
Absent is any mention of tackle Anthony Collins, who started the final six games of 2008 at left tackle. I was more impressed with Collins last season than I was with Whitworth back in ’06 at LT, but what do I know?
Kyle Cook is, as expected, the leading candidate for center.
Finally, completing o-line news (at least for the moment) Smith’s agent-change saga isn’t over, reports Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson:
He also revealed he has yet to decide on an agent, but wouldn’t elaborate. The agent he had during the draft, Rick Smith, had scheduled a meeting with Bengals negotiators this week. Rick Smith had no comment Tuesday.