The Bengals under Marvin Lewis failed to get players to reach their full potential. Fortunately, Lewis is no longer strolling the halls at PBS. Zac Taylor is the new man in charge and will have the task of getting players to reach their potential.
With Zac Taylor taking over, there’s optimism for change in the way players are developed. In past seasons under Marvin Lewis players often times weren’t given the opportunity many believed they deserved. Players like John Ross and Christian Westerman for reasons unknown to most always seemed to be fighting for a chance to prove their worth. Now, the entire roster will have a clean slate as it begins life under a new coaching staff. We will take a look at which players need to reach their potential to help the Bengals get back into the AFC Playoff picture.
Since being selected 9th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, Ross’s production hasn’t lived up to that of a top 10 pick. Not all to Ross’s dismay, injuries, and being in Marvin Lewis’s dog house claimed his rookie season as he didn’t log a single catch. Ross in year two saw more action catching 21 passes for 210 yards, and 7 touchdowns.
Ross showed a glimpse of what he could do when given the opportunity. It was unfortunate the former coaching staff failed to understand how to use him. Zac Taylor could play savior and rescue Ross from the bust label with his new offensive system. With Ross’s speed and quickness, it will be a joy watch Taylor and company get him the ball in open space to maneuver. Getting the most out of John Ross will create more space for Aj Green and Tyler Boyd to operate as well create running lanes for the dynamic Joe Mixon.
Christian Westerman was the biggest question mark when it came to fans. When given the opportunity, he performed well. It was mind-boggling as to why he didn’t fill in more at right guard for often struggling Alex Redmon. Westerman appeared very sparingly in 14 games last season.
Westerman may not be the long term solution for the Bengals at the guard position, but getting the most out of him would certainly help in terms of depth. You can never have enough productive offensive linemen in the rotation on game-day. He could find a nice role backing up either guard spot in 2019 if the Bengals find a solid starter via free agency or the draft.
Billy Price was bitten by the injury bug during his rookie campaign forcing him to miss 6 games. As a rookie, missing games is the quickest way to fall behind developing into your full potential. In games Price did play, he struggled to be much of an impact.
The Bengals selected Price with their 1st round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, so he’s going to be the starting center for the foreseeable future. If Price can develop into his role, it could open up the Bengals offense. This makes him an important piece for Zac Taylor to develop heading into the 2019 season.
Want to read more about the Cincinnati Bengals? Check out my latest article on which tight ends the Bengals are looking to re-sign!
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