With news coming out of Bengals training camp today that rookie Michael Jordan ran with the starting team at left guard, fans should be starting to take notice.
The former Ohio State Buckeye has played with the starters one other time in training camp as well. At the very least, he appears to have overtaken Christian Westerman for the backup left guard role. He even played before Westerman in Saturday’s preseason game.
If Jordan is beginning to gain traction as the starter, it would be surprising, but it isn’t uncharted territory for him. he started as a true freshman in college. He became the first freshman offensive lineman to start as a Buckeye since Hall of Famer Orlando Pace. That is the type of company you want guys on your team to be in.
Many fans were hoping that Westerman would be the guy to take over in the wake of Clint Boling’s retirement. However, that is looking more and more unlikely.
It was believed that once the new coaching staff took over, Westerman would finally get a shot at showing what he can do. Now through two different staffs, it is looking like Westerman’s time with the Bengals will be coming to a close when his rookie contract expires.
Perhaps the Bengals are considering a youth movement along the offensive line, just as they have done with their coaching staff. It isn’t unreasonable to think that they believe they can get better play out of Jordan this year than presumed starter John Jerry. If the offensive line has a higher ceiling this season with the 21-year-old in the lineup, the coaching staff may be willing to endure some mistakes early, especially if they can get the line clicking by November.
Whatever the case may be, the tweet above from Paul Dehner Jr along with today’s news prove that Jordan is impressing early. He may be the Bengals long term solution to the left guard position.