Cincinnati Bengals: 5 Situations To Watch Tomorrow Night

3 of 6

Russell Bodine 

By possessing the necessary physical attributes to play center within the Bengals’ offensive game plan, Russell Bodine has an opportunity to possibly be the only rookie from this past year’s draft to start for the Bengals on day one. The Bengals love his strength and demeanor, but recent issues with snapping the ball have the team worried. Hue Jackson expressed as much by saying:

Russell Bodine will be battling his snapping issues in order to attain the starting center spot in 2014. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

"“I’m not going to just watch the ball go over somebody’s head all the time. We’re not going to do that. But at the same time, we have to give him an opportunity. He needs to fix it and we need to help him fix it. If we can’t fix it, then we have to do whatever we have to do.”"

It’s a little surprising that Bodine has struggled with the shotgun snap, especially considering that North Carolina primarily used this during his time with them. But this is also a sign that Bodine’s inexperience with the complex communication that comes with being an NFL center may be rearing it ugly head. Andy Dalton has confidence in both Bodine and his own ability to help the rookie center through these issues:

"“I’ve just got to get him calmed down. It’s more conversations than anything. He knows how to snap. It’s not like we’re teaching him how to snap. He’s going to be fine. I’m not too worried about him.”"

This should help take some of the pressure off Bodine and give him confidence; it’s safe to say Dalton understands struggles with pressure and criticism; so having him around should only be a positive for for the young center. Bodine clearly hasn’t played himself out of the race, but he’ll need to fix these issues in short order before the Bengals begin to consider their other options.