Cedric Ogbuehi feels confident and ready, after MMA training. Marvin Lewis and Bengals brass did their homework on Joe Mixon.
If you follow the Cincinnati Bengals (who doesn’t?), you’ve probably had night terrors about the O-line. For those of you who need a Cliff’s Notes refresher, here’s a short version of the deal. Andrew Whitworth got a payday from the Los Angeles Rams and Kevin Zeitler was swooned by Hue Jackson. Man, Zeitler left when I was finally spelling his name right.
The Bengals had a panic attack and re-signed Andre Smith from the Vikings. With Big Whit gone, Cedric Ogbuehi is the incumbent at the position and Smith is an experiment in the making. But, most fans are still remembering how Cedric allowed Andy Dalton to be tossed like a Raggedy Andy doll. Not a good look.
During the offseason, Ogbuehi decided to get real. The talk was getting heated and this had to be the year he shines. Along with the pressure of getting back to the playoffs, the Bengals also have to prove they’re right about Ogbuehi.
There’s usually a nagging injury keeping Ogbuehi out of practices. But, this offseason has been a productive and healthy experience for the third-year tackle.
"“It’s the first time that I got to slow it down and learn my techniques,” Ogbuehi offered, via Bengals.com. “I’ve noticed the difference. I’m a different player, and I’m a more confident player.”"
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Being confident and stopping a defensive player hunting for Dalton’s head are two different things. But, at this point, fans and Bengals brass have to go with the flow. Hopefully, the MMA training with Whitworth will pay off for the young man.
"“I think it’s helped with leverage, sinking my hips, and my overall strength,” Ogbuehi said. “MMA is all about leverage and I think that helps a ton with my position. We did a little boxing for stamina and shoulders and wrestling-type movements. It was good work.”"
Um, let’s hope so. Training camp will uncover the whole truth.
Mixon Under The Microscope
Frankly, if any football fan was ignorant to what Joe Mixon did, it was a blessing. Hearing about the same thing over and over was truly an exercise in the mundane. Yes, he did something vile and reprehensible to a woman. I don’t condone that. But, it’s time to move on from that episode. Marvin Lewis and the Bengals did just that when the time came to draft a running back. They researched his actions after “the incident” and got what they wanted. Marvelous Marv discussed the matter on Sirius XM.
"“A lot of time, a lot of research,” Lewis said of Mixon, per NFL.com. “Time spent with Joe. Time researching people around Joe. Joe’s past in East Bay. All those kinds of things that way. His past on campus at Oklahoma since the incident.”"
They got what they wanted. A clean slate going forward is always a good indicator of how bad someone wants to succeed. The Bengals have given Mixon a second chance and only he can jack things up. Fans are in for a treat. Lewis has a man crush on the kid. I’m sure fans will too, after seeing him in action.
"“He’s off the charts talent-wise,” Lewis gushed. “Big, fast, catch, run, see, smart — and he’s a 20-year-old kid. He’s as smart as a whip. You know, I mean, those things are fun. And I keep reminding everybody, he’s a 20-year-old kid. Keep understanding that. Let Joe continue to grow and develop as we go.”"
The preseason can’t arrive fast enough.