Over the past two off-seasons, the Bengals have made conscious efforts to steadily improve the offensive line that badly needed it. While they quietly but effectively put it together, they should see the results in 2019.
After drafting Center, Billy Price 21st overall last year, signing Free Agent, Bobby Hart (who just got extended for 3 more years), and trading for Left Tackle (now left guard) Cordy Glenn all in the same offseason, they added more pieces to the offensive trench in 2019. Drafting top Tackle prospect, Jonah Williams to protect Andy Dalton, and run blocking Guard, Michael Jordan out of Ohio State came after picking up former Bills guard, John Miller and signing him to a three-year deal.
Overall, that’s six roster moves made to the offensive line in two years and two 1st round picks spent. The reward should be paid in 2019 and beyond. Zac Taylor will be taking a look at what they have on the roster at the offensive line and deciding the best combination, let’s go through each lineman and discuss what they bring.
After trading for Glenn before the 2018 NFL draft, he was a noticeable and very much appreciated upgrade from former first-round selection, Cedric Ogbuehi. Glenn was able to hold his own last year and though it wasn’t his best campaign, he filled indecently with his new team.
“He wants to do whatever to help us win. … It’s helpful that he’s done it in the past (in college at Georgia).”
Head Coach Zac Taylor commented on Glenn’s mindset and attitude towards the move of shifting him inside to Left Guard in order to give first-round pick, Jonah Williams the starting nod.
Cordy Glenn is moving to left guard, he says. Says he is embracing it. “Coach Turner and I had a man-to-man talk.” Jonah Williams to LT.
— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) May 20, 2019
Before injuries took a toll, Glenn earned 82.0-plus grades with the Bills for four straight seasons. He finished 12th among offensive tackles in pass-blocking efficiency (96.3) in 2015. With Glenn kicking inside, it provides more stability and depth along the interior and will hopefully improve his run blocking with a lineman on each side of him.
If Bobby Hart wasn’t jumping offsides on a Sunday, it meant the Bengals were on a bye week or the playoffs had started. Despite this, the Bengals decided to save their breath and retain the Right Tackle for 3 more years at a hefty price in an incentive-driven deal, considering his quality of play in his first year with the team.
Hart, who gave up nine sacks and was penalized 11 times last season, hasn’t faced a whisper of competition at the starting Right Tackle spot in camp so far. The Bengals have stated they will find the best starting five on the offensive line, and it seems they are confident in Hart. Hopefully, they can develop Hart into a serviceable tackle, or else the offense could be in jeopardy.
Cincinnati got the best tackle in his class and possibly the best work ethic and attitude. Zac Taylor fell in love with Williams and he should be able to be an anchor at tackle for many many years. Williams is a very versatile offensive lineman who can play tackle or guard. His technique went unmatched from his fellow draft classmates. Williams understands angles and timing, exceptional body control and balance in pass protection. Great hand usage and positioning when defending the edge.
Overall he is a balanced and smooth pass blocker and can be a powerful force in the run game. But the buck doesn’t stop here when talking positives about the Crimson Tide star.
“I promise I will do everything in my power to prove you right”
Jonah Williams can be something special in Cincinnati.
Boling’s days in the Queen City could be numbered. Adding Guards, John Miller and rookie Michael Jordan might be foreshadowing a surprise camp cut or Clint’s final season in stripes and a change could be coming. Despite primarily playing at Left Guard, Boling can be versatile when asked to and has played some left tackle recently. However, with Jonah Williams grandfathered in at the left and the Bengals seemingly set with Bobby Hart on the right, it seems that Clint Boling can find himself on the bench behind Cordy Glenn. If this is the case, Boling easily becomes the best backup linemen and could be brought in on special packages or if needed for obvious passing situations.
By the looks of Miller’s contract, he is at the very least in the strong consideration category to start at right guard.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 15, 2019
The right side of the Bengals line is shakey to put it nicely. With Bobby Hart getting beat every which way and costly holding penalties from Alex Redmond, the line is in dire need of an upgrade. The Bengals coaching staff thinks they’ve found just that in Miller
“Oh yeah. I’ve seen him. Tough,”
Is what Bengals new offensive line coach, Jim Turner had to say via Bengals.com.
“But I’ve been watching more of the film. The first word that comes into my mind is ‘physicality.’ There’s no substitute on any line for that. It’s contagious. He’s a going to a great fit for what we’re trying to do here.”
As Turner continues his praise, he offers insight of what’s to come on offense. Zac Taylor has stated before that they plan on utilizing Joe Mixon and the ground game. And as long as Miller doesn’t take penalties, he should be very much appreciated in the ground attack, especially late in the year.
He’s one of the best basketball players of all time and he’s not a famous actor, but he is, however, the newest guard of the Cincinnati Bengals. After playing alongside Billy Price at Ohio State University, he rejoins his team just down the road in the middle of an offensive line rebuild.
Jordan will serve as a reliable backup who will benefit the rushing attack when brought in. He will need to develop his pass protection to be a full-time starter but for the time being Jordan is a nice depth piece who adds to the familiarity and chemistry of Bengals teammates.
Price struggled a bit year one, but that’s expected of most first-year linemen. He had inconsistencies in both his pass and run blocking and his snaps were something to stress about at times. However, his rookie season didn’t go without its moments as Price showed why he was a 1st round pick and why he will be apart of the solution of the Bengals offensive line rebuild.