Beginning on July 27th, Bengals training camp is the fans first real glimpse of what the 2019 team will look like. With their first head coaching change in 16 years, this camp and preseason may well be slightly alien to even some of the veterans on the roster. Here are the five players who most need solid camps to build on for the season ahead.
The fifth year former Buffalo guard may be the biggest name Cincinnati added in free agency this year. Alongside re-signee Bobby Hart, Miller will look to improve the right side of the offensive line. This is something that the team desperately needs if it is going to contend this year. New offensive line coach Jim Turner is key for Miller.
This year’s second round pick was viewed as a reach by many. However, after the injury to first rounder Jonah Williams, Sample is the highest healthy pick of this year’s draft class. Apart from quarterbacks on occasion, second rounders are drafted there to make a day one impact. Sample’s positioning on the field in relation to the other tight ends in camp may give us a better glimpse into the makeup of Zac Taylor’s offense as well as what the plan is for the former Washington Huskie.
After trading up to take him 104th overall in this year’s draft, the Bengals have high hopes for Finley. Early reports about his performance have been poor. Improvement in training camp is a must for the NC State product. He will be given every opportunity to beat out Jeff Driskel and Jake Dolegala for the backup quarterback role.
After Clint Boling’s retirement, Westerman has one less name between him and a starting spot. That, along with the suspension of fellow offensive lineman Alex Redmond means the 2015 fifth round pick can use camp as a springboard to firmly establish his place as the Week 1 starter against Seattle.
A new number may mean a fresh start in more ways than one for Ross. All of Bengals Nation is desperate for the 2017 first rounder to shed the “bust” label once and for all. Ross developed as a redzone weapon last year, scoring seven touchdowns.
However, he still has just 21 total career catches. Fans want to see Taylor utilize that dazzling speed that lit up the pre draft process. Could we see a Brandin Cooks style role for Ross this season? Training camp will give us our first clues.