5 Bengals who need to have a great training camp in 2022
By Lukas Moore
After the most magical season in Cincinnati Bengals history, all eyes are turned towards the most anticipated training camp since 1989. What Bengals players need to have a great camp to solidify their role on this Super Bowl contender?
The Super Bowl may be played in February (as Cincinnati Bengals fans know), but teams win championships in July and August. Ask any coach or player about the importance of training camp in the NFL and they’d tell you the same thing.
This time builds chemistry, sets the culture, and establishes the coaching staff’s opinion of their roster. The Bengals have fewer questions about the starting lineup than at any time since 2015.
This means the magnifying glass of camp will be focused on the rotation pieces – if training camp produces some gems, this season of hype might even exceed the lofty expectations.
Whether the Bengals find a way back to the Super Bowl will be determined in the next month, and these five players will have huge roles to play in that journey.
All stats and rankings courtesy of Pro Football Reference
5. Jackson Carman
The Cincinnati native missed a massive opportunity in 2021. The Bengals were desperate for the high-ceiling athlete to storm into training camp and stamp his name at the top of the left guard depth chart.
Drafting Ja’Marr Chase made the Bengals bet on Carman even bigger. They were relying on him to protect the franchise or at least show he would one day be capable of doing so.
Well, 2021 training camp arrived and Carman came overweight, immature, and underprepared. His inconsistent time in the starting lineup (six starts, 43% of snaps) was spotted with small flashes of athleticism, but Carman was mostly a liability in 2021.
Joe Burrow was sacked 70 times in 20 games, and Carman played zero snaps in Super Bowl LVI. The Bengals coaching staff watched Hakeem Adeniji have his soul taken by Aaron Donald on every snap, and yet they let their second round draft pick rot on the bench.
That says a lot about the player, and where he stands with Zac Taylor and Frank Pollack.
His standing in the front office isn’t much better. Some of his questionable behavior at Clemson came to light and put a lot of heat on the Bengals and their scouting process.
Mike Brown having to answer questions about an underperforming guard who didn’t take a snap in the Super Bowl is the perfect storm to being a draft bust.
All of this noise means Carman can’t just be in shape for camp, he has to be in the best shape of his life. He can’t just know the playbook, he has to become a master of Pollack and Taylor’s wide zone scheme. He can’t just barely edge out fourth-round pick Cordell Volson, he has to win the job easily.
Anything less and there will be major questions surrounding Carman’s future in the franchise.
Carman buried his career in a deep hole by his play on the field, and his behavior off it. He needs a great training camp to dig himself out.