The Cincinnati Bengals were one of the worst offenses in the NFL during the 2017 season. A.J. Green expressed his confidence in additions to the offense.
The Cincinnati Bengals finished the 2017 season as the worst offense in the league based on yards per game. Plenty went wrong last season for the Bengals offense and a significant amount of work that needed to be done this offseason. It seems that Cincinnati has been aggressive about making changes on both sides of the ball for 2018, and players are taking notice.
Cincinnati’s offensive line was the center point of their struggles last year ranking the 28th worst unit according to Pro Football Focus allowing 158 pressures on quarterback Andy Dalton. During the offseason, the Bengals brought in former Dallas Cowboys offensive line coach Frank Pollack as the first order of repairing the offensive line. Pollack was a big part of the building and developing the Cowboys elite offensive line over the years.
The next move for the Bengals was addressing their offensive line which they took care of their most prominent need by trading back nine spots in the first round with the Buffalo Bills to acquire left tackle Cordy Glenn. Left tackle was the most significant need for the Bengals going into the offseason and they addressed it.
Following center Russell Bodine leaving for the Buffalo Bills during free agency, the next need was at the center position. Cincinnati addressed this with their first-round pick Ohio State center Billy Price. The team worked hard this offseason to fix their biggest problem on offense and will hopefully result in the entire offense looking better in 2018. Star wide receiver A.J. Green thinks that the additions to the offensive line are going to play a significant impact on the offense in 2018.
"“Last year, the line wasn’t a strong point,” Green admits. “Getting (Price) and Cordy really beefs up the line. Everything for us starts up front. Last year, Andy was getting a lot of pressure. This is really going to help us out with the running game and the big plays downfield that we didn’t really have last year.”"
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Green is another player that looks to get back on track after two of his least productive stretch of seasons. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor hopes to do just that and bring Green back to his playmaking self with his new playbook. Lazor stepped in during in after the Bengals fired former offensive coordinator Ken Zampese. With a full offseason to prepare a new playbook, it should be interesting to see what the offense looks like in 2018.
Green spoke with Sporting News discussing the changes that he’s seen in the team so far.
"“The whole vibe is different,” said Green, who is entering his eighth NFL season. “There are a lot of new (assistant) coaches. Players are being held accountable. You feel like these guys are hungry.”"
Green discussed how Lazor has preached through camp about getting playmakers in position to be able to make plays. He knows what the player’s strengths and weaknesses are and is putting that into his playbook. The star wideout also had some good things to say about his teammate wide receiver John Ross.
"“He’s got his confidence back,” Green said. “The way he’s working this offseason is unbelievable. He’s healthy and explosive again.”"
Ross is coming off an extremely disappointing rookie season after being drafted ninth overall in the 2017 draft. Struggling with injuries, Ross failed to haul in a single pass and the one handoff he did receive, he fumbled. That’s good news to hear for Bengals fans who are frustrated about Ross’ performance in his rookie season. Many have already labeled him a bust so hearing their star wide receiver talking highly of him should bring some confidence.
There have been a lot of moving pieces this offseason for the Bengals between the staff and players. Cincinnati usually is very low key during the offseason but has been relatively aggressive in bringing in the right pieces to get them back on track this year. I think that Ross will have a breakout year this season and prove to be the number two Cincinnati has been looking for. The offensive line will help the entire offense to improve, and we will hopefully see Dalton get back to his 2015 performance.