Analyst details how the Cincinnati Bengals can fix their offensive line
NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger broke down how the Cincinnati Bengals can finally get their offensive line playing up to par.
It’s no secret that the Cincinnati Bengals have been struggling to fix their offensive line for quite some time now. From complicated trades, to mid-tier free-agent signings, to pouring premiere draft capital into the position, they’ve tried it all and none of it has seemed to work. It’s the million-dollar question that, if answered, could lead the organization back to the postseason for the first time since 2015.
Naturally, the offensive line puzzle was brought up on the Bengals Booth Podcast when Dan Hoard was interviewing NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger. Fans are used to hearing from the coaching staff or others closely associated with the team about the plagued position, so hearing from an outside source on the topic should be a welcome commodity.
Baldinger, much like the rest of the football world, believes everything that happens in the trenches begins and ends with the top offensive lineman prospect from 2019, Jonah Williams,
"“It starts with getting Jonah Williams back…people thought he was a first-round pick and he’s gotta go and play like it now.”"
All signs point to the idea that Williams will indeed be able to live up to his draft billing. Coming out of Alabama, he was touted for his pro-readiness and his profile suggests that he meticulously prepares. He had a full season to learn how the operation is run in Cincinnati and you can be sure he made the most of those mental reps.
The forgotten first-rounder
The next point that Baldinger brought up is one that many of the orange and black faithful have overlooked: Billy Price still has the potential to breakout.
"“Can Billy Price… can he play like a number one pick? He got beat out last year. Can he get back to what he was at Ohio State?”"
The majority of those looking down on the situation in the Queen City have already chalked Price up as a bust. However, he has talent, there’s no denying that. In fact, the Remington Award winner was just recently nominated to the Big Ten’s All-Decade team. The ability that led to such an honor didn’t just disappear when he got to the league.
He suffered a torn pec, an injury that can be devastating for offensive linemen. Not to mention, he had to deal with a coaching regime switch in the middle of all of it. There’s no telling how he will come in and perform this year, given the circumstances, but if he’s able to turn things around, it would provide a huge spark in the trenches.
Finally, Baldinger shifts the focus to right tackle. The position is growing ever-more important in today’s NFL. It’s a spot that could be vital in helping Joe Burrow get off to a fast start.
"“I would try to get as much competition… at [the] right tackle position as you can… Try to get the best five guys out there. That’s where it starts… The best five guys playing together as one.”"
It appears the Bengals are on the same page when it comes to the right tackle competition. They’re currently slated to have hidden gem Fred Johnson compete with Bobby Hart. If the stretch Johnson had to end last season is any indication, they may have a solution to that spot.
As for finding the best five-man configuration, Cincinnati already built some momentum on that front down the stretch of 2019. Look for the team to start where they left off after last year’s promising finish, make a few tweaks, and keep the starting lineup together to further build chemistry.