The Cincinnati Bengals 11 draft picks and 12 undrafted free agents haven’t made it to the facility yet, but players are already excited about them.
This is the third week of Cincinnati Bengals voluntary workouts, and while the rookie class is not there, Bengals players are already talking about their excitement to have them on the team. The rookies will be allowed to report to the facilities on May 10th, one day before rookie minicamps which are from May 11-13th. They will not be working with the veterans until the first OTA practices which are from May 22-24.
Quarterback Andy Dalton has already met with Billy Price following the draft as him, and his wife took Price and his girlfriend out for dinner on Saturday night. Dalton jumped at the opportunity to get to know his new center, which is possibly the most prominent relationship between center and quarterback.
While he won’t be able to play with him until later this month, and Price will need a little more time to recover from his pectoral injury, Dalton expressed how nice it was to simply “put a face to the name.” Price will be taking in mental reps during the first OTA’s and rookie minicamps as he recovers and be able to participate with the team in the meeting rooms and film rooms.
This has not stopped players from expressing their thoughts on the new rookie class. Some of the players, like defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow, are familiar with the rookies who they played against in college. Glasgow, a former Michigan player, has played against Cincinnati’s first-round pick Billy Price during their college careers. While he might not like Ohio State, he is thrilled to have both Price and defensive end Sam Hubbard joining the team.
"“Billy is a hell of a player, and the Bengals picked a great player in the first round,” Glasgow said. “Very strong. Huge guy. Very tough to move from a defensive perspective. Seeing his highlights from this year, it looks like he moves really well. It looks like he’s gotten a lot better as a player and I’m excited to be on his team now.”"
With former center Russell Bodine leaving for the Buffalo Bills in free agency, Price will be the new starting center in 2018. Dalton and the rest of the offensive line are excited to get to meet their new player and work alongside him to make this line better than it’s putrid performance in 2017. Just getting him into the meet rooms with the rest of the line is going to be beneficial for Price. Running back Joe Mixon is another player that is excited about Price joining the team following his quote: “I try to impose my will on people and be able to finish guys and be able to set that tone. Make it a war with the people across from me mentally. And physically.”
"“I love that,” Mixon said. “Coming in with a mindset and attitude like that, that’s the stuff that me and Gio and Tra (Carson) and all of us backs like to hear. When he comes here and actually does it, that’s just going to make it better. I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait.”"
The running backs group has another player joining their room with fourth-round pick Mark Walton. With running backs Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard already on the roster, it was a surprising pick for some when the team grabbed Walton in the fourth round. Bernard seems to have little worry about it as he is excited to add more talent to the group in 2018.
"“At the end of the day what you want to do is get the best players out there and stack the roster up,” Bernard said. “There are two sides to this. There’s a side where you want to welcome everybody here, and there’s another side where it’s a business. You try to be professional in both manners. That’s what I’m about. I’ve always been that kind of guy,” Bernard said. “I’m inviting him here with open arms, but when it gets here, it’s time to roll. At the end of the day, we all are fighting for something. We have to compete, and that usually brings the best out of everybody.”"
Even though the rookies are unable to join their teammates on the field till OTA’s, players are excited to get going. Bringing these rookies in and getting them in the facility to become a part of the Cincinnati Bengals as they try and prove everyone wrong this season. There’s a lot to be excited about with this offseason, and the players seem to be just as excited to get going as the fans are.