Some praise for the Cincinnati Bengals continues to come in. This time, it comes in the form of ESPN’s NFL analyst, Louis Riddick.
Riddick, who should be a future General Manager, is one of the most prominent voices when it comes to the NFL. When he speaks, the NFL world listens. He is not one for hyperbole or not saying what he thinks, so his praise for the Bengals carries more weight than a golf clap from a Pat McAfee for an indoor practice bubble.
Recently, when discussing which team has had the best offseason in the NFL, Riddick responded with the Bengals.
First, Riddick addressed the idea that last season for the Bengals should be considered an aberration. He said, “Do not think that 2021 was a one-off type of season where they caught lightning in a bottle.”
The prevailing thought amongst some talking heads is that the Bengals will not make it back to the Super Bowl and will even miss out on the playoffs altogether. So here’s looking at you, Mike Tannenbaum and Dianna Russini.
Riddick said Cincinnati’s offseason, “They went to work this offseason. They really fixed this offensive line. Starting from center out to right tackle, where they signed Ted Karras. They get Alex Cappa, signed La’el Collins.”
The biggest need for the Bengals heading into this offseason was improving the offensive line. If the team can keep Joe Burrow upright, they will be an even more significant threat to make it back to the playoffs and possibly beyond. They addressed that need aggressively when free agency opened. The hope is the team turned their biggest weakness into a strength.
Riddick was not done. He went on to address Cincinnati’s draft class.
Of the incoming rookies, Riddick stated, “And then in the draft, they draft Daxton Hill in the first round out of Michigan who is kind of a hybrid corner, slash safety. And they need more help in the secondary. They draft Tycen Anderson… in the fifth round out of Toledo. They draft Cam Taylor-Britt in the second round out of Nebraska. These guys are all playmakers, man.”
Obviously, this NFL expert loves what the Bengals did in the offseason.
Riddick was a fan of how this offseason fits with what the Bengals already had in the building. He thinks the offseason additions, along with Joe Burrow already being a seasoned veteran after just one full season at the helm, will make the Bengals contenders once again this season.
Riddick continues, “So they are going to protect Joe Burrow. The offense is going to be as explosive as it was in 2021. But on the defensive side, in the secondary, they’ve got some young studs that can all run, that are all interchangeable. That can play different positions. Joe Burrow has gotten this team kind of right where he wants it in terms of the help that he needs. Cincy is going to be knocking on the door of a repeat appearance in the Super Bowl. You can bet on that.”
And bet on that we will, Mr. Riddick.