Cincinnati Bengals training camp battles: Bobby Hart vs. Fred Johnson
There may not be a position battle that Bengals’ fans are more passionate about than the one at right tackle. The team has struggled to find consistent play off the right edge and the position is growing ever-more important as the NFL evolves. Recently, Bobby Hart has been plugged in as the starter and he’s certainly had his struggles at times.
However, it’s clear that the coaching staff is more optimistic about his abilities than the outside world. Just before signing Hart to an extension, offensive line coach Jim Turner had this to say about the young bookend,
"“I know he gave up some sacks and pressures and all this other business, but if you really watch him play, he played with passion and I thought he played well…I just like what he brought to the table as far as energy is concerned. I think he’s an athlete and I think he’s a good player, a good, solid player.”"
Down the stretch of last season, Hart began to live up to the comments from Turner, but there was another player that burst onto the scene at the end of last year: Fred Johnson. The mammoth 6’7 tackle was asked to defend the blindside and he did so admirably.
With his incredible physical attributes and room for growth, many are pounding the table for him to be placed into the starting lineup. He’ll be given the chance to beat out Hart and earn the right to protect the new face of the franchise, Joe Burrow.