Cincinnati Bengals: Five Players To Watch vs. the Falcons

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Russell Bodine will need to lead the charge up the middle for the Bengals rushing attack.  Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Bodine

Like the Ravens, the Falcons utilize a 3-4 defense, so Bodine will play an especially important role within the run game.  He’ll need to engage and seal the nose tackle at times while getting to the second level and blocking linebackers at others.  Bodine was drafted due to his strength and scheme fit according to CBS’s Rob Rang, but Bodine may have an added ability outside of what Rang points out as important for Bodine within the Bengals’ scheme.  Here’s an excerpt from Rang’s piece.

"Bodine’s game — like Alexander’s scheme — is based on power. The marginal agility and balance Bodine demonstrated at the combine (OL-worst 8.29-second in the 3-cone drill) and on tape scared off some scouts but is mitigated by the fact that in Alexander’s scheme centers are generally asked to either drive defenders off the ball or turn and seal them away from the action, rather than scoot to the second level and adjust to linebackers."

Rang is right that turning and sealing is an especially important quality to possess as a Bengals’ center, but because the Bengals are a dynamic offense, Bodine will be asked to get to the second level at times.  And based on this highlight, provided by Cincy Jungle’s Brennen Warner, it seems Bodine possesses this ability.

The Bengals will need more of this on Sunday, if they are to allow the running backs to “move the chains” and win the time of possession battle.  Bodine may play an especially important role as the Bengals try to take advantage of a Falcons’ weak spot.