Joe Burrow’s Rapport with His New Wide Outs
Joe Burrow is coming from the most dominant offense that college football has ever seen. The receivers at LSU helped put Burrow on the map, with 2020 first-rounder Justin Jefferson and 2021 first-round prospect Ja’Marr Chase leading the way.
Now in Cincinnati, Burrow must engage with his new wide receivers. A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd will help lead the charge, but speedster John Ross, newcomer Tee Higgins and 2019 star Auden Tate will have to emerge in order for this offense to truly be successful.
Burrow stated in his post-contract press conference that it will take “six to seven” throwing sessions to understand how each receiver differs in their route running and pass-catching abilities. Obviously, game speed will be much faster than training camp, which could provide a few bumps in the road for the first couple of games this season.
Offensive Line Position Battles
It is no secret that the offensive line is the Achilles heel of the Cincinnati Bengals. Last season, injuries depleted an already lackluster offensive line. Jonah Williams at left tackle and Trey Hopkins at center will be the only two positions that are clearly defined from day one of training camp. The left guard, right guard, and right tackle positions should be wide open and provide for quality roster battles throughout camp.
It is presumed that Bobby Hart will continue to start at right tackle. However, late bloomer Fred Johnson showed flashes towards the end of last season and will give Hart a run for his money for the starting gig. Rookie Hakeem Adeniji may also throw his hat into the conversation if he plays as well as offensive line coach Jim Turner expects him to.
Xavier Su’a Filo signed during the Bengals’ active free agency and looks to have a lock on the right guard position, but Adeniji and former first-rounder Billy Price could make a push, especially as Su’a Filo begins training camp on the PUP list.
Left guard was a hot mess during the 2019-2020 debacle of a season. Billy Price and Michael Jordan went back and forth throughout the year and neither fully lived up to their expectations. Late in the offseason, Zac Taylor stated that they fully expect Jordan to make a leap in his second season. Bold strategy, but hopefully it pays off.