Cincinnati Bengals: Russell Bodine or Christian Westerman

matthewwillson
Nov 28, 2014; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils offensive lineman Christian Westerman (55) against the Arizona Wildcats during the 88th annual territorial cup at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 28, 2014; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils offensive lineman Christian Westerman (55) against the Arizona Wildcats during the 88th annual territorial cup at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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There is a debate as to who the Bengals should start at the center position for the 2016 season, Russell Bodine or Christian Westerman.

The Cincinnati Bengals have had a couple years to analyze Russell Bodine at the center position. When he was drafted, he was supposed to be a strong option for helping the Bengals offense against both the pass rush and run stopping defenses. It seems like many people feel that he is the weakest link on this offensive line.

Bodine has not been great but has not been terrible either. According to Bengals.com, the Bengals were seventh in the NFL in scoring, fourth down efficiency, and tied for seventh in yards per play. He also has durability, since he has yet to miss a game in his two seasons with the Bengals. In fact, the Bengals offensive line coach, Paul Alexander, came to his defense according to Coley Harvey of ESPN.com:

"“This is a young player who’s playing with a bunch of veterans who are very good offensive linemen, and he’s the last one right now because he’s the youngest… I don’t care what anyone else says. I think Bodine’s going to be a hell of a player.”"

Enter Christian Westerman out of Arizona State. He is a quick footed in pass protection and uses his length and arm strength to dominate defenders. A natural guard has not played center at Arizona State but his size and frame would make the move ideal, if the Bengals choose to go that route.

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Westerman was a second to third round rated draft pick that the Bengals picked up in the fifth round. Kevin Zeitler is in the final year of his current contract and with only Eric Winston on the depth chart at guard, Westerman will sure up the position, without having to use Jake Fisher.

The Bengals are known for sitting or only using rookies in very light situations until they have proven to catch up to the speed of the NFL.  Westerman has at least a year before we could see him make a run at a starting job, however, don’t think that Marvin Lewis or Paul Alexander won’t make a move to improve this team if they think Westerman gives them the best chance to win.

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