The Cincinnati Bengals kicked off their first week of voluntary offseason workouts on Tuesday. And with that, quarterback Joe Burrow returned to the practice field for the first time since tearing his ACL a year ago.
Burrow’s return to the gridiron expectedly dominated the headlines and the second-year quarterback spoke to the media following the first day of practice.
Predictably, Burrow came to the defense of his offensive line and insisted that the organization is headed in the right direction.
"“We’ve got the right guys. We’ve got guys who are going to put in the work to get better. Everyone knows that we have to get better up front, outside, me, defense, we won four games [last season]. Everyone knows they have to put the work in to enhance their play, myself included. I’m happy with the work everyone has put in so far, and we’ve got the right kind of guys that are going to continue to do that.”"
Joe Burrow defended the Bengals’ offensive line
The Bengals will hope to see a much-improved offensive line this season after an abysmal campaign a year ago.
Cincinnati’s offensive line was hampered by inconsistent play and injuries, and finished as Pro Football Focus’ 30th ranked unit in the NFL. Safe to say, work needed to be done in the offseason.
The Bengals made two noteworthy additions to the offensive line signing veteran tackle Riley Reiff in free agency and drafting Clemson’s Jackson Carman in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Both players are expected to start Week 1 with Reiff manning the right tackle position and Carman holding down the fort at left guard.
Combine that with a hopefully healthy Jonah Williams and the Bengals’ offensive line has a chance to be decent in 2021. Of course, they’ll need a few things to go right.
But the additions of Reiff (a better pass blocker) and Carman as well as the hiring of new offensive line coach Frank Pollack project a brighter future in Cincinnati.
And for Joe Burrow, he’ll certainly be hoping that his offensive line is more effective than they were last year.
Prior to Burrow’s injury, he was sacked a whopping 32 times (second most) and hit 42 times (fifth most) over the first 11 weeks of the season. For the sake of Burrow and his health, that simply can’t be the case again in 2021.
Joe Burrow believes in his offensive line. Now it’s up to the starting five to prove him right.