The Cincinnati Bengals will be holding mandatory minicamp from June 11th-13th. These will be the final sessions before returning for training camp next month. Minicamp practices are vital to building momentum heading into training camp. Here are the three key position groups to watch.
Minicamp will be a good indicator on this offensive line. The much-maligned Bengals offensive line has undergone some needed changes this offseason. Selecting Jonah Williams and Michael Jordan in the draft adds youth to this improved group.
Last year’s starting left tackle Cordy Glenn is switching to left guard alongside Williams at tackle. Billy Price and Bobby Hart must play up to their hype and physical tools. Finding their chemistry and trust begins with minicamp. The wildcard is free agent signing John Miller. His path is being cleared for the starting right guard role since Alex Redmond is serving a 4 game suspension for performance enhancing drugs to start the season.
This group may be the best on the team in terms of depth heading into minicamp. The linebacker competition should be fiery all summer to determine the starters for the regular season opener There’s an abundance of youth in the linebacker room and defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo will have his hands full trying to pick the best three to start the season.
How the young guys look will tell the tale as to whether the future is now or if the veterans are the best route. This defense desperately needs the second level to play better football this season.
The tight end room is full of big-bodied potential playmakers like Tyler Eifert, C.J. Uzomah, and rookie Drew Sample. Obviously, if Eifert is back to full strength, he will assume the starting role. Uzomah and Sample will take some snaps this year, which should help keep Eifert fresh. The former Pro Bowler was seen working on the rehab fields during a recent practice.
However, Eifert could have to work for playing time if he has issues getting healthy and his position mates perform well in practice. Sample is another wildcard, as the second round pick is an unknown due to lack of production and usage at the University of Washington. Possessing three capable tight ends is a blessing rather than a curse, but determining workload and snaps is the key from here on out.
The Bengals are the forgotten team in the AFC North. Still, the roster has potential to raise some eyebrows this season. Minicamp starts the countdown to opening weekend, buckle up for the ride.