Boling will have to continue to bulk up and become stronger to become one of the best guards in the NFL. He easily has the frame to take on defenders, but if he continues to grow into the frame, he could improve vastly in the running game. Although he contains a strong punch, he does struggle against bigger defenders and is not fast enough to handle the faster defenders.
What Boling lacks with athleticism he makes up for it with his instincts, mean streak, and intelligence. After week 7 last year, Pro Football Focus actually ranked Clint Boling the 4th best among left guards, and 10th overall. Now obviously his production fell as the season went on, but that leaves us Bengal fans with hope that he will continue to be consistent like he was during those 7 weeks.
2013 will be a year where Boling will have to show he can improve. Andy Dalton needs to work on pocket presence, and Boling will have to continue to help Dalton progress with that by keeping him upright. Luckily for Dalton, Boling is quite good at that. If Boling comes into camp stronger and bigger, do not be surprised if he puts together a Pro Bowl year. His instincts and intangibles are there, along with great technique, if he continues to put forth the work and effort.
Run blocking is something Boling needs to improve on, and with a rookie running back going to be getting touches, Boling is going to be relied upon. Marvin Lewis likes to run the ball to the left, so Boling will have plenty of opportunities to get better against competition. It also helps he won’t have to worry about Travelle Wharton breathing down his neck, as the Bengals cut the veteran guard prio to the start of camp, which is a pretty good indicator how confident the coaching staff is in Boling’s abilities.
Clint Boling has a very good chance to be the most improved player on the Bengals team in 2013.