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September 11, 2022 vs Pittsburgh Steelers

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Offensive Line Draft Talk Thread


membengal
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Here's where we are at as the Bengals clearly demonstrate that they believe in what they have in house:

LT - Jonah Williams (top OT taken in 2019 draft - age 22)      Back-up Isaiah Prince age 22

LG - Michael Jordan (4th round 2019 draft - age 22) Back-up Billy Price and/or Alex Redmond

C - Trey Hopkins  Back-up (Billy Price)

RG - Xavier Sua Fila (age 27 - FA from Dallas) - back-up Alex Redmond - NEW DRAFT PICK X-FACTOR - Adeniji

RT - Bobby Hart age 25  -  ( back-up Fred Johnson - age 22) - NEW DRAFT PICK X-FACTOR - Adeniji

From the Bengals perspective, they clearly feel they heavily invested in the line last year with picks 1 and 4 used for Williams and Jordan - each of whom will be starting this year. They sorted out C, settling on Hopkins and rewarding him with a contract. They looked at right guard, kicked out John Miller, and selected Sua-Fila in FA - apparently very much valuing his ability to pull and his athleticism as compared to Miller. 

That leaves RT - I am not a Bobby Hart fan - and I know I am not alone. But he's...serviceable. If he were the back-up swing T, that would be fine. It really comes down to Fred Johnson for me - he's an absolute monster in terms of size with the measureables you want at RT. 6'7" - 34 inch arms - 325 pounds. He was very late to playing football, and is still very new to it, relatively. The Steelers were reportedly distraught to lose him to the Bengals. The Steelers are really good at identifying and developing tackle talent from late in drafts or undrafted (Villlanueva their latest success), so there's that. Johnson was quite good in the last six games last year - two of them starts. He's...interesting. And quite young. If he's a thing, that really helps. 

Jonah Williams better live up to his pedigree, or we are fucked. No reason to think he won't, but he better be good.  Expecting improvement from Jordan in his second year is reasonable. Hopkins is solid. The Bengals coaches are betting on Sua-Fila -that's on them - they better be right. That leaves...RT.  I suspect they think Johnson can beat out Hart. It would be good if he could. 

But there was nothing in the draft once Isaiah Wilson went 29 which was going to come in day 1 of camp (whenever that is) and win the RT battle. Maybe an argument could be made that someone in 3 would have been better than Sua-Fila but that would have meant passing on LB room yet again. Lapham would not stop talking about how short Josh Jones's arms are. That's apparently a real worry with him, so he may have been guard only - and even maybe limited there per Lap.

I guess I am saying, if Jonah Williams is what is he supposed to be (and he better be at his draft position), if Jordan takes a step year two (which he should or they should cut him at the end of camp if it isn't clear he's spent the off-season getting ready physically), then it comes down to RT for me. Hopefully Fred Johnson is seizing his opportunity. The path to this team REALLY surprising may run through him. 

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4 minutes ago, TJJackson said:

so you're betting on our johnson being big enough, eh mem?

still, we can get an athletic project OL in 6 and/or 7 that might be starting in 2022 or so

ie right now

I am not betting on anything. But the coaches clearly are.

Here's the thing - the line is YOUNG. Like, really young. Look at those ages again. And then look again. It is conceivable that the kids might be (wait for it) alright (too old a reference?).

Look, I like everyone else, wasn't really watching this team the last six weeks. I was spending my Saturdays in private time with LSU games. And then mostly tuned in to watch in horror them almost win against Miami.  But PFF's grades for them the last six weeks were...pretty damn fine. And that was with whatever "effort" Cordy Glenn was providing at LT. If the pieces were falling into place otherwise and Jonah Williams is ready - then there is a path to improvement. Clearly the coaches are betting on it. Fwiw, Williams was on with Dan Hoard at end of the latest Bengals Booth Pod and he confirmed he is absolutely 100%, no restrictions, working out hard and ready to go. That will help. It better. 

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It’s just the reality of the roster.   Even with an active free agency going all in for Burrow has left them with a limited amount of bullets to fire. 
 

Meanwhile Phins have a young QB plus young line prospects and still addressing defense.  Will have picks next year too.  
 

3-5 years will tell the story. 

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Seriously, were ANY of us really paying attention at the end of last year?

Fred Johnson played his way from claim off of Steelers practice squad, to backup, to playing time, to starting in the span of about 10 weeks. He's 22 and only been really playing football for about six years. NO chance he's decent? 

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1 minute ago, AMPHAR said:

It’s just the reality of the roster.   Even with an active free agency going all in for Burrow has left them with a limited amount of bullets to fire. 
 

Meanwhile Phins have a young QB plus young line prospects and still addressing defense.  Will have picks next year too.  

Sure. And the prayer that their young QB doesn't fall apart due to injuries and hoping they are right on Austin Jackson as opposed to a massive reach with Ogbuihi bust potential. I wouldn't be printing playoff tickets if I were them this year or next either. 

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5 minutes ago, membengal said:

Fred Johnson played his way from claim off of Steelers practice squad, to backup, to playing time, to starting in the span of about 10 weeks. He's 22 and only been really playing football for about six years. NO chance he's decent? 

no one talked more about our big Johnson at the end of last year than yours truly

I am very upbeat about this guy

But we need - still need - more

Much more

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3 minutes ago, membengal said:

Seriously, were ANY of us really paying attention at the end of last year?

Fred Johnson played his way from claim off of Steelers practice squad, to backup, to playing time, to starting in the span of about 10 weeks. He's 22 and only been really playing football for about six years. NO chance he's decent? 

I don’t think anyone is saying “no chance”. 
 

The coaches can like what they want and see promise in whoever they want but the last 4 years when TC opens it’s a daily update of some defensive player fork lifting a lineman in the lap of the QB. 
 

Then when preseason starts it’s deliberately Andy Dalton getting the ball out of his hand quickly.

Then when the season starts there only so much smoke and mirrors they can pull and the pocket completely sucks and the offense is limited directly because of that. 
 

They are unproven and razor thin.  It could easily smash the rebuild efforts. 
 

Dalton did a ton to avoid hits and sacks the past 4 years.  
 
Could easily be ugly. 

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Joe Burrow was pressured on 29% of his dropbacks last year. Andy Dalton was pressured on 29% of his dropbacks last year.  Burrow also did a ton to avoid hits and sacks. Oh, and he had a passer rating while doing so that would make Dalton blush. Burrow is better than Dalton. From day 1. He's used to dealing with pressure. So, I am gonna skip the wailing and gnashing of teeth on that front. 

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14 minutes ago, membengal said:

Joe Burrow was pressured on 29% of his dropbacks last year. Andy Dalton was pressured on 29% of his dropbacks last year.

Id prefer New Guy to be pressured LESS than that as a Bengal

strongly prefer

itd help him a lot if our RB had some running lanes every now and then as well

controlling the line of scrimmage on offense means our D gets a breather, too

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2 minutes ago, TJJackson said:

Id prefer New Guy to be pressured LESS than that as a Bengal

strongly prefer

Sure. And yet, into every QB's life, pressure will come. It's not like he's coming from a pristine situation to hell in terms of pressure. That's some kind of weird fucking false narrative that I am tired of seeing repeated. If you thought he handled pressure well against Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and Auburn (and spoiler alert -he did - and fucking killed under pressure) then, guess what? He's gonna be able to deal with it in the NFL. 

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Just now, COB said:

So it all comes down to FRED JOHNSON.

I mean, sorta. They are putting a lot of eggs in that basket at any rate. There's always Hart. But I want better. So if we want better, then we are hoping on Fred Johnson for 2020. 

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The camera starts with only the back of my head in frame.  Then it recedes, showing me sitting in my evil genius laboratory, I’m monitoring 7 computer screens, all running proprietary algorithms analyzing all things Bengals, from Burrow’s 4th quarter velocity to the transmission fluid temperature in Katie’s Lexus.  Around the computers, high voltage arcs from Tesla Coils, crackling and spitting, jump 20 feet across the room.  I turn in my chair, the camera re-zooms, my embittered, thousand-yard stare face fills the frame.  In a voice heavy with the gravitas and pain that comes from living the life of a Bengals fan, I say, “It all comes down to Fred Johnson.”

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5 minutes ago, HoosierCat said:

I’m not at all concerned about Burrow’s ability to play behind a poor Oline.

I'm very concerned about a poor oline getting Burrow injured.

Then you were concerned about that last year at LSU. All QBs deal with breakdowns from time to time. 

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21 minutes ago, membengal said:

Joe Burrow was pressured on 29% of his dropbacks last year. Andy Dalton was pressured on 29% of his dropbacks last year.  Burrow also did a ton to avoid hits and sacks. Oh, and he had a passer rating while doing so that would make Dalton blush. Burrow is better than Dalton. From day 1. He's used to dealing with pressure. So, I am gonna skip the wailing and gnashing of teeth on that front. 

The Bengals aren’t trying to win the SEC with Burrow they are trying to win the AFC North.

I’d prefer Burrow to not have to deal with shit protection Dalton had to because if he does it’s unlikely they are winning anything. 
 

Like it or not that’s the weak point and we won’t know how it works out until September. 
 

I just hope it isn’t as obvious the line is going to suck badthe first couple days of TC like it has the past 4 years. 

 

 

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