Cincinnati Bengals Senior Bowl Wrap-up
The Cincinnati Bengals have concluded their time coaching the Senior Bowl. Here, we summarize the events of the week.
The Senior Bowl provided a whirlwind of rumors, speculations, and statements for Cincinnati Bengals fans. Beyond the headlines, however, the coaching staff seemed to get a lot of value out of the event.
The South squad, headed by Zac Taylor, fell short to Matt Patricia’s North team, 34-17. Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert took home the MVP thanks to an outing that saw him complete 9 of 12 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. His performance wasn’t nearly enough to overthrow Joe Burrow for the top spot in the quarterback rankings, but he did put himself on track to becoming a top-10 pick.
Other notable standouts from Saturday’s game include edge rushers Bradlee Anae and Joshua Uche. Both players not only had solid reps during the game but all week in practice against some of the most seasoned veterans the college football ranks have to offer.
While no single receiver dominated during Saturday’s matchup, the position group generated plenty of headlines over the course of the week. Players such as Denzel Mims, K.J. Hill, and Van Jefferson drew rave reviews. It appears that the wide receiver class is living up to the high expectations set for them thus far.
Houston offensive tackle Josh Jones had arguably the best week of work for linemen at the event. CBS Sports had this to say about the experienced left tackle,
"“It didn’t matter if it was a speed rush to the outside, an inside counter, a bull rush, or a swipe move, Jones stymied everything all afternoon for the North squad.”"
His body of work is something to note, as he may be a target for the Bengals at the top of round two.
Beyond the players, offensive coordinator Brian Callahan garnered some attention. Callahan took over play-calling responsibilities for the entirety of the game, a task that usually falls on the shoulders of Taylor. While the two stated the role reversal was simply to allow Taylor to scout and be involved in the other phases, it’s something worth keeping an eye on.
Now, the Bengals will turn their attention towards the combine and free agency before getting to the big event, the draft.
As the NFL world ascends upon Lucas Oil Stadium for the combine, the Bengals will have one huge advantage that carries over from this past week. According to @TomPelissero franchises will only get 45 formal interviews this year, down from the 60 they have typically received in the past. That means the players that the Bengals got to know so well over the course of the Senior Bowl more than likely won’t be taking up one of those valuable interview periods.
The first phase in one of the franchise’s most important off-seasons is complete. With that, the city of Cincinnati anxiously awaits to see how the front office’s plan to get the team back on track unfolds.