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HoosierCat

Week 8: Bengals @ Jets

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3 hours ago, membengal said:

FUCK YES

 

Only just saw this. I had to resist the urge to run in circles in my office. Let's go.

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It's so good. SO GOOD. He is the one. 

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Now you did it Hoosier…

Although I suspect you simply said what we have been secretly thinking. Yes, praying indeed. Don’t let this end !!

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3 hours ago, membengal said:

It's so good. SO GOOD. He is the one. 

Like he’s talking about something so simple.

The effortlessness in which that comes flying out of his mouth is amazing. 

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13 minutes ago, ArmyBengal said:

Like he’s talking about something so simple.

The effortlessness in which that comes flying out of his mouth is amazing. 

exactly. it's like scales fell from my eyes. 

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57 minutes ago, HoosierCat said:

La Canfora is such a hater, doesn’t even mention us!

Has he not heard if the season ended today that the Bengals would be the #1 seed ??
Jesus, how do people NOT know this important fact ??
Come out from under your rock already !!

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46 minutes ago, ArmyBengal said:

Has he not heard if the season ended today that the Bengals would be the #1 seed ??
Jesus, how do people NOT know this important fact ??
Come out from under your rock already !!

I think you missed Hoosier's sarcasm /didn't read the article army...

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Morrison uncorked a phenomenal article on Spain. I want to make sure you all get a chance to read it so...

Quinton Spain's value soaring a year after joining Bengals: 'He’s just about all the right stuff' – The Athletic

Quote

 

If there is one player on the Bengals roster whose growth and improvement best mirrors the team’s sudden rise from cellar dreg to the top of the AFC, it’s left guard Quinton Spain.

One year ago, Spain was a street free agent after being cut by Buffalo, the three-year, $15 million contract he had signed seven months earlier a worthless, crumpled relic. Today, he’s the starting left guard for the first-place Bengals and the league’s No. 1 ranked guard in pass-blocking efficiency by Pro Football Focus.

But the rapid rise shouldn’t come as a surprise. Spain has been fast-tracked since the Bengals brought him in for a tryout.

Saturday will mark the one-year anniversary of Spain signing with the Bengals. And Monday will mark the one-year anniversary of his debut.

Let that timeline sink in. The Bengals signed Spain to the practice squad on a Friday. Elevated him to the 53-man roster Saturday and threw him into action Sunday, with Spain playing the final 62 snaps in a 31-20 victory against the playoff-bound Titans.

“I have never in my life gone through film and a modified walkthrough in a hallway before on game day with a potential starting lineman,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said. “He didn’t start; he came in five plays later after we benched that guard (Shaq Calhoun). But he picked it up, and it made sense to him. I was very grateful he had a good football IQ because I didn’t know when we added him.”

Spain has used his intelligence and his skills to start 15 consecutive games since, helping stabilize the franchise’s shakiest position group in the process, culminating with last week’s celebrated destruction of a Ravens defense that has tormented the Bengals for the past three seasons.

Spain has allowed four pressures and no hits or sacks on 249 pass-blocking snaps. His PFF pass efficiency rating is 99.1, which is 0.2 ahead of four-time All-Pro Zack Martin. Spain’s overall PFF grade of 75.2 ranks 13th among qualifying guards and is his highest since posting an 84.2 in 2016, his second year in the league after signing as an undrafted free agent with the Titans.

“The tape says he’s playing good,” Taylor said. “He understands it, it makes sense to him, the game. I can’t speak for Quinton, but it seems like it’s really slow for him. He sees it and can process it. He’s a really good communicator, he’s really strong, he can anchor, he’s physical and strong with his punch.

“He’s just about all the right stuff,” Taylor added. “He’s done a really good job for us this year.”

But Spain has done more than just transform how the offensive line plays on the field. He’s been instrumental in getting them on the same page, or at the same table as the case may be, off it.

“When I first got here last year, I was, ‘Dang, y’all don’t even hang out? Once y’all leave work, y’all don’t do nothin’ with each other?'” Spain said. “I made a big effort. I picked (Trey Hopkins’) brain, like ‘Trey, come on, you can’t come to dinner with me? What’s going on?’ This year, he said, ‘All right, I’m gonna start comin’; I’m gonna do things.’

“It started from then,” Spain added. “It started clicking. I’m like, ‘How am I supposed to trust you and you can’t even hang outside of football?’ I understand it’s work, but what we do outside of work, it’s a bond.”

From there, a new tradition sprouted. Every Thursday, after the team’s longest and hardest day, not just Spain and Hopkins but every single one of the offensive linemen goes out to dinner.

“We started off with Riley (Reiff), and he picked Jeff Ruby’s,” Spain said.

An obvious and appropriate choice. This offensive line may not look the way it does had it not been for Reiff’s first visit to Ruby’s steakhouse, The Precinct, on a Thursday night in March as part of a full-on recruiting process. The Bengals filled multiple tables with coaches, wives, the four free agents who had signed with the team earlier that day and a few players from the 2020 team, including quarterback and sales pitch finisher Joe Burrow.

Reiff signed his free-agent deal the next morning.

The traveling restaurant tour is smaller these days, at least in scope. But there’s nothing small about nearly a dozen 300-pound men feeding their bellies, minds and souls.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a steakhouse,” Spain said, noting the choice is left to the person whose turn it is in the rotation. “They’re paying, so wherever they want to spend their money at.”

It’s Fred Johnson’s call this week. Spain didn’t say where they would be, but it’s not a surprise. He said they give the chef a head’s up a week in advance.

Asked what Burrow would have to do to get an invitation to dinner with his protectors, Spain said it’s simple.

“If he offers to pay the tab, he can come.”

Taylor isn’t lobbying for a spot at the table, but he said the importance of those dinners cannot be overstated.

“All the great lines I have been around have been that way,” he said. “They spend a lot of time with each other. There is a culture within the culture there in that O-line room. It’s something I have been around my whole life. (Offensive line coach Frank Pollack) has done a great job with that. I hear it firsthand because I share a wall with that room. So I hear it over the course of the week, whether I like it or not.

“I have been really proud of how that room has evolved over the course of the season,” Taylor added. “And it does show with some of the synergy they have in that room.”

Sometimes, however, the most important conversations don’t come in group settings. It’s the one-on-one talks, such as the haranguing of Hopkins to hang out with him, or an encouraging consultation with a teammate, specifically a wayward youngster.

Spain hasn’t played a snap this season at right guard, where he spent the majority of his time in 2020. But he’s been as influential in solidifying that side of center as he has been in his own spot on the left side via an early talk with second-round pick Jackson Carman after the rookie second-round pick reported to training camp out of shape.

“When he came in overweight, that’s when I had to talk to him,” Spain said. “I had that problem, too, when I came out of college because it was hard for me to make my way. I told him, ‘Bro, I’ve been through everything you’re going through. At the end of the day, you were drafted. I was undrafted. You have a chance. I didn’t have a chance. I had to earn that.’

“We have the same agent,” Spain added. “I told him, ‘Bro, this is not college. This is the business side of things and at the end of the day, if you’re not doing your job, you’re going to be out of here. Block the outside and focus on you and worry about you. At the end of the day, it’s about you. Not anybody else outside of football. It’s about you. Because they see you as a football player, so if you’re not doing your job, what are they going to see? You’re not going to be here?’ I just had a one-on-one talk with him and just get his mind right. Ever since then, Jackson’s been coming to work and doing his job.”

They all have. The Bengals offensive line ranks ninth in pressures allowed (55). They’re a modest 20th in sacks allowed (17), but that’s after allowing 10 in the first two games. Since Week 3, the Bengals have surrendered just seven sacks, which is tied for seventh, and 35 pressures, which also ranks seventh.

Jonah Williams continues to improve at left tackle in his third season, and 10-year veteran Reiff has been everything the team had hoped for at right tackle.

The biggest question coming into the season was the interior of the line. That’s where the pressure and hit came from that ended Burrow’s rookie season in Week 10 last year. But thanks to Spain’s play and his tutelage, the guard spots have been solidified over the past month, which is one of many reasons why they are heading to New York on Sunday to face the Jets as enormous 10-point favorites.

“I feel like we’re doing the same thing we did the first (two) weeks, it’s just clicking now,” Spain said. “Everything we’ve been taught, the game plan, we’re just consistent with it now. It’s what, Week 8? So we got a couple games under our belt and we’re in the zone.”

As far as personally, does Spain feel as though he’s having his best season?

“I feel like all my seasons was the best,” he said. “I feel like the world recognizes me now. Back then I was coming in undrafted. Nobody looked at me. ‘He’s undrafted. He ain’t no draft pick.’ But I’m getting a lot of attention now, so I’m happy about that. But it can’t stop me from coming to work and staying consistent.”

 

 

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Love to see Spain making the most of this chance and bringing everyone else along with him. Good old fashioned lunch pail work ethic there.

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48 minutes ago, membengal said:

I think you missed Hoosier's sarcasm /didn't read the article army...

I think you missed mine !!

I‘ll work on it…

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That was a great article about Quinton Spain. Great to have a leader like that to bring the rookies along.  Funny that they know to give the restaurant a weeks notice regarding their dinners.  Like tell your meat supplier to deliver twice the normal order that day.

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Just for the record, Ja’Marr Chase officially wins the Ja’Marr Chase Weekly Award again.

 

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