Bengals’ training camp battles: Right Tackle
Offensive line is the Bengals’ biggest weakness heading into the season. After a rough few years on the line, the front office elected not to add many new faces to the struggling unit. The coaching staff has been very vocally supportive of the guys they currently have, but up to this point, they haven’t been convincing.
The right tackle position may just be the weakest spot on the line. Bobby Hart has held the starting job for two years, bringing nothing but headaches in that time. Toward the end of 2019, undrafted rookie Fred Johnson made a name for himself with some impressive play. When he was given opportunities, the line looked better than they had all year.
Thanks to his mini breakout at the end of the year, Johnson looks to be the first real challenge to Hart’s starting spot that he has faced in Cincinnati. Despite this, Hart remains the frontrunner for the spot.
Hart is considered to be a leader on the Bengals’ offensive line. Coaches and players alike have praised him for his leadership. This puts Johnson at a disadvantage. He is a second-year tackle who went undrafted as a rookie and saw just a handful of starts. Hart, on the other hand, is already ingrained in the Bengals culture. Being an apparent coaches’ favorite, he has the upper hand on Johnson.
This is unfortunate because Johnson showed real promise during his starts in 2019 and he could just be a hidden gem. The Bengals know what they are getting in Hart, a below-average right tackle. Putting their faith in a player as young and inexperienced as Johnson may just pose too big a risk for the Bengals. At the right tackle spot, the Bengals will most likely choose the evil they’re familiar with instead of seeing what they have in Johnson.
Winner: Bobby Hart