With training camp coming soon, there are multiple position battles to watch out for on the Cincinnati Bengals’ roster.
After months of waiting, training camp is actually upon the football world. For a while, it looked as if it wouldn’t happen, but the NFL is going to give it a go. While a season is still no guarantee, players and coaches alike are currently going about business as if there will be football to play in the fall.
There will be multiple position battles unfolding in the Bengals’ training camp. Who wins out in the most prominent of these matchups?
The starting quarterback job undoubtedly belongs to the Bengals’ first overall pick Joe Burrow. However, there is an interesting competition for the backup spot between two young passers in Ryan Finley and Jake Dolegala.
Both entering their second NFL seasons, the two youngsters have had very different paths up to this point. Finley held the backup job behind Andy Dalton before taking over as starter midway through the season. After an abysmal three-game stint with a 47.1% completion rate, 474 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and 3 losses, the rookie quarterback was sent back to the bench,
Dolegala, however, beat out Jeff Driskel to make the Bengals’ roster after an impressive preseason but never moved up from the third-string spot.
In addition to their different NFL paths, the two quarterbacks have different playing styles. Finley has below-average arm strength, instead relying on accuracy and game management to win in the passing game. Dolegala, on the other hand, is a towering figure at 6-foot-7 who uses his strong arm to be a gunslinger in the passing game.
Both games have their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, Finley is likely to be more secure with the ball, but the offense would be less dangerous with him at the helm. Dolegala could make the offense more electric, but would likely be more prone to mistakes.
The Bengals will have to take into account which playstyle they prefer to have behind Burrow. In the end, however, it could just come down to who has a better training camp.
While Dolegala may be the more exciting prospect, Finley is a safer bet should Burrow go down with an injury. Due to a safer style of play and actual in-game NFL experience, expect the former fourth-round pick to take the backup job behind the former Heisman winner.
Winner: Ryan Finley