Stripe Hype Thursday mailbag

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Are the Bengals ready to compete for the AFC North title?

This off-season the Bengals have addressed every area that needed to be fixed in the offense. They needed a lot of help from the offensive line. Last season the crumbled because they lost Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler to free agency. They never addressed those positions lost in the draft. They had a former first-round draft pick ( Cedric Ogbuehi )up a failing grade in every year he has played.

This year they lost center Russell Bodine to free agency. They already addressed the center position by drafting Billy Price from Ohio State. The Bengals also improved their left tackle position with a healthy Cordy Gleen. The Bengals also added wide receiver Auden Tate from Florida St in the draft. That will add to the vast depth to the wide receiver core. They are sure John Ross, a former first-round pick of 2017, will have a successful sophomore season. The offensive line should give better sight lines for Andy Dalton to pass in and giving better pocket protection. That should allow Tyler Boyd to rebound from a terrible last season.

The Cincinnati Bengals have made great strides to deliver a top ten defense in 2018. They added huge amounts of depth to an already enhanced defensive line. They added edge rusher Sam Hubbard and defensive tackle Andrew Brown from the draft to add depth. The linebacker issue was addressed by drafting former linebacker from Texas Malik Jefferson. He will fill the void when Vontaze Burfict serves his four-game suspension. They also added former Bills linebacker, Preston Brown.  Cornerback William Jackson III should get a starting role since the Bengals lost Adam Jones in the off-season.

The Bengals special teams have also been a struggle last season. They have addressed that issue also. They drafted two talents in the 2018 draft Darius Phillips from Western Michigan and Mark Walton from Miami Florida. Both players had a great career as return men.

The best thing that happened in the off-season was getting to solid coaches to fill voids. Frank Pollack is the former Dallas Cowboys offensive line, coach. He transformed their offensive line to a top three line. He knows talent and he will have the task to put every player in the right position. Teryl Austin is the former Detroit Lion, defensive coordinator. He will have the task to get the defense back to the top ten defense the Bengals are used to.

-Answered by Larry Horn