The Cincinnati Bengals held their rookie minicamp this weekend and the first-round pick Billy Price is working hard in his limited role during camp.
The Cincinnati Bengals first-round pick center Billy Price still has time before he can face another defensive tackle as he rehabs after his surgery from a partially torn pectoral muscle at the NFL combine in March. As of right now, Price will not face another lineman until training camp in July. There is still plenty for Price to learn as he finished his weekend of rookie minicamps.
While he can’t face off against defensive linemen, Price has been snapping the ball in the Bengals starting rookie lineup this last weekend with offensive coordinator Frank Pollack. Learning new formations and assignments as the offensive players run their routes, he has a lot to learn before week one. When the defense was on the field, Price stayed close to the huddle to hear what the play calls were and learn as much as he possibly could in his limited role.
Formations and assignments are a struggle for college players coming into the NFL these days as the college offenses are entirely different from that of the pro level. Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians talked about how they have to teach these kids the technique again. While the players are more athletic than ever, they lack the technique they need at the NFL level. Even the playcalling itself is different under Frank Pollack than anything he did at Ohio State according to Price.
"“I’ve been speaking French and now I’m speaking Spanish,” Price said. “We did nothing like Coach Pollack is doing at Ohio State. Nothing. For me right now it’s a struggle, but it’s going to get better. I’m trying to pick it up faster. We’re looking at certain alignments and the different variations that can come off of that.”"
Even though Price cannot take on defensive linemen yet, he is putting in the extra work where he can. Learning the new playcalling and techniques are the primary focus for him. Price even spoke about how the “self-service” style practice has helped because while he’s not taking on other players, he can learn the techniques and flow of the line without worrying about another defender in the beginning.
"“With self-serve it’s a lot easier because you can recognize looks without somebody trying to take you out,” he said."
Price is spending extra time on the field following practice working with the director of rehab Nick Cosgray. I think that Price is getting time to process and develop all of the information before having to put it to work on the field. He’s still getting reps to practice his technique and learning how the line can move each play without the defense on the field. It will be interesting to see what he can do in training camp come July when he can put all of that knowledge to the test against a defense.