Line ‘Em Up
Oct 14, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Green Bay Packers tackle Marshall Newhouse (74) blocks Houston Texans outside linebacker Connor Barwin (98) during the second quarter at Reliant Stadium. The Packers won 42-24. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
While Cincinnati was exceptionally demure during free agency, one of the most underrated acquisitions was that of Green Bay tackle Marshall Newhouse. A full-time starter of a Packers’ team that went 15-1 in the 2011 regular season as well as a rookie member of team that won Super Bowl XLV, Newhouse strangely disappeared in 2013, starting only 2 games for the Pack that year. Though Newhouse comes with the ability to play both left and right tackle, his inconsistent play and questionable work ethic apparently was not enough for Green Bay to shell out a contract for his return.
Nonetheless, expect offensive line coach Paul Alexander to get the most out of him. Not projected to be a starter, Newhouse adds critical depth to the tackle position along with second year jack-of-all-positions Tanner Hawkinson who should be taking all of Boling’s reps at guard until his knee is 100%.
Lastly, this year’s fourth round selection, Russell Bodine, seems to be gathering steam in camp in preparation for what could be a run at the starting center job against not only the likes of Pollack, but also sophomore Bengal TJ Johnson and Trevor Robinson who started 7 games back in 2012.
Cincinnati has named nine offensive linemen to their final 53-man roster every year for the past decade. While a bit early for prognosticating, one should expect that would stay the same. Further, it is safe assume that Whitworth (T/G), Smith (T), Zeitler (G), and Pollack (C/G) are locks. Baring medical setbacks to his knee, Boling (G) should be there as well. Add in probability of Newhouse (T), Hawkinson (T/G), and the rookie Bodine (C); the Bengals would still only have eight linemen included within what appears to be a very modular depth chart.