…A massive 6’6 former Ohio State Buckeye, and lifelong Bengals fan named Michael Jordan comes walking through the other door. He has looked good in preseason action, grading as the Bengals best run blocker.
That means the backups are veteran John Jerry, Price, and last years starting right guard Alex Redmond. When you have players that started on this team last season, playing as the backups, I find it difficult to say that is not a sign of improvement, even though we won’t know for sure until a week from Sunday.
Let’s not forget that Jerry was brought in to be the main contender to replace retired veteran Clint Boling. Thus, the fact that Jordan beat him out for the starting spot is actually good sign. When you compare Boling to Jerry, you find that Jerry projects to be an improvement in pass protection. Jerry performed well enough in Week 1 of the preseason to merit a spot on Pro Football Focus‘s team of the week. That means that Jordan didn’t win the job because Jerry isn’t playing good. Offensive line depth is a beautiful thing and was non existent for Cincinnati last year.
Finally, in an interview with the LockedOn Bengals Podcast host Jake Liscow, second year center Billy Price describes Bobby Hart, John Jerry, and John Miller as “guys who are more vocal” and “the rocks of the room” and willing to share knowledge with younger players like Price. So, it would appear that bringing Jerry and Miller into the locker room also provided some veteran leadership for the young offensive lineman.
if the offensive line isn’t going to be the reason why the Bengals are worse this season, perhaps we need to talk about last season’s second biggest weakness…