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Everything posted by membengal

  1. 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.
  2. 2021 Off-season OTA/Mini-Camp Stuff

    Here's the Athletic defensive piece from yesterday, TJ:
  3. Offensive Line Draft Talk Thread

    That's the whole piece - it is offensive focused. They did a defensive one prior to this. Did I post that one in the other thread?
  4. 2021 Off-season OTA/Mini-Camp Stuff

    If you listen to the latest Hoard pod, Lap and Hoard said Bengals were one of three teams w/ 70+ players vaccinated. If they are right, then they would need about 7 more players to get the vaccine to get to 85%. So...they are close, if you believe Hoard and Lap.
  5. 2021 Off-season OTA/Mini-Camp Stuff

    Dim - you know I am not a reporter , right? I had read they were there. Sorry that is not accurate. Sue me.
  6. 2021 Off-season OTA/Mini-Camp Stuff

    Oooooo, pretty
  7. 2021 Off-season OTA/Mini-Camp Stuff

    Chase is awesome. This was fun:
  8. Offensive Line Draft Talk Thread

    Bengals head coach Zac Taylor and each of his coordinators talked this week about how happy they are with the hard work and progress they saw this offseason from a young team that had a lot of ground to cover. But there was one setback that thrust the team back to where it stood in March — scouring the list of free-agent tackles for help. Hakeem Adeniji had surgery last week to repair a torn pectoral muscle, an injury that will cost the offensive lineman his second season in the league. Adeniji wasn’t going to unseat left tackle Jonah Williams or right tackle Riley Reiff, whom the team signed to a one-year, $7.5 million contract at the end of the first week of free agency. But Adeniji showed promise as a rookie and would have been battling Fred Johnson to be the first tackle off the bench. And for a team that started three left tackles and four right tackles in 2020, four left tackles in 2019 and, oh, by the way, a franchise quarterback who is returning from a devastating knee injury and in desperate need of protection, you can’t understate the importance of depth at tackle. With Adeniji lost for the year, the options at swing tackle are Johnson, whose Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade of 47.4 last year ranked 86th among tackles who played at least eight games; Isaiah Prince, a 2019 sixth-round pick the Bengals claimed off waivers from the Dolphins at the end of 2019; and rookie fourth-round pick D’Ante Smith. Offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said he’s been encouraged by what he’s seen from Prince the past five weeks. “He’s getting a bunch of reps, but pads will be the great equalizer,” Callahan said. “That’s when you find out what you’ve got. There are things about him that are intriguing. Preseason games for a guy like him will be really important to find out if we have something or not. I’m thankful we get to play them.” Waiting until the preseason to figure out the comfort level with the backup tackles on the roster may be too late. But fortunately for the Bengals, the reduced salary cap resulted in a number of free agents going unsigned. The trick at this point is finding the right fit. There are tackles available who may not be interested in joining a team with established starters. There are starting-caliber tackles out there who have broached the idea of retirement, which would have to give pause to any team interested in signing them. And there are tackles who may or may not be better than the ones the Bengals already have and who have a five-week head start on learning the offense. There’s also the issue of most of them being 30 or older, and the idea of going to a young team that’s won six games over the past two seasons to be a backup might not be the most appealing. But the Bengals have five openings on the roster — soon to be six when Adeniji goes on IR — and space under the cap. So it makes sense to make a run at one or two guys and have them compete to see what they have before it’s time to pare the roster to 53 by the first weekend in September. “Those are things that we’ll look at a couple of different positions to see what we need to add for training camp,” Taylor said. “Duke (Tobin) and his staff are always on the lookout for that and trying out players and putting guys on our radar. It’s certainly something we will keep monitoring.” Here is a look at the best free-agent tackles remaining (with their age as of Sept. 1): Morgan Moses (30) Arguably the best free agent still available at any position, Moses has played seven seasons in Washington with 96 consecutive starts. Among tackles who started at least eight games in 2020, Moses ranked 41st with a 70.8 pass-blocking grade from Pro Football Focus. His 84.7 run-blocking grade last year was a career high. Mitchell Schwartz (32) He had never missed a start in eight seasons with the Browns and Chiefs before suffering a back injury six games into the 2020 season. Schwartz has said he is considering retirement, but he’s also continuing to rehab from back surgery and should be healthy enough to play by the start of the season. In his two most recent full seasons, Schwartz was PFF’s ninth highest-graded pass blocker in 2018 and 13th in 2019. Russell Okung (32) The Bengals coaches never viewed Okung as an option when they were looking for a starting tackle in free agency in March, but bringing in the 11-year veteran as an injury contingency could be a different matter. A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Okung’s play fell off in 2019, leading the Chargers to trade him to the Panthers. The No. 6 pick in the 2010 draft made just seven starts for Carolina last year because of groin and calf injuries. Rick Wagner (31) Another durable and dependable veteran in the mold of Moses, Wagner has appeared in 118 games with 96 starts for the Ravens, Lions and Packers. Last year in Green Bay was the first time since his rookie season in 2013 that he didn’t start at least 12 games. He ranked 23rd in pass blocking among qualifying tackles with a PFF grade of 69.3. Like Schwartz, Wagner is said to be contemplating retirement. Demar Dotson (35) After playing 11 seasons with the Buccaneers, Dotson missed out on the Super Bowl run last year when he signed a free-agent deal with the Broncos. According to reports, he’s received offers from multiple teams to play for the league minimum of $660,000 this season. He made eight starts last year and earned a 70.0 pass-blocking grade from PFF. Dennis Kelly (31) The nine-year veteran started all 16 games for the first time in his career in 2020, but he showed a marked dip in production in pass protection. PFF ranked Kelly 64th among qualifying tackles with a 60.2 grade, down from 77.4 in 2018 and 75.2 in 2019. Marshall Newhouse (32) He’s played for eight teams during his 10-year career, including the Bengals when he made five starts during the 2014 playoff run. But this is his second offseason as a street agent. The Titans signed Newhouse to their practice squad in November and elevated him to the active roster in December. He appeared in four games, with no starts. Chaz Green (30) Maybe the least likely candidate due to the shaky start to his career, Green also is the most intriguing as Bengals offensive line coach Frank Pollack held the same position in Dallas in 2015 when the Cowboys selected Green in the third round. Green has played for five teams during his short career, which is a giant red flag. But if Pollack and the Cowboys saw something in him in 2015, perhaps a reunion could be in store.
  9. 2021 Off-season OTA/Mini-Camp Stuff

    They are very close, dim.
  10. 2021 Off-season OTA/Mini-Camp Stuff

    How much of a benefit will it be to get to the vax threshold? This just out:
  11. 2021 Off-season OTA/Mini-Camp Stuff

    A few thoughts rattling around my head with the off-season done and the six week wait until training camp here: ---I want them to sign a vet T now w/ Adeniji hurt. Probably won't get my way. Rick Wagner would make a ton of sense if Okung and Moses don't want a back-up/swing tackle role. But they really could use another vet at T in my opinion. ---The team being able to have in-person meetings in July at the start of camp and carrying forward, and move about the facility as normal because they hit vax thresholds is potentially a really excellent competitive advantage. ---Them having 100% attendance for three weeks of voluntaries and the one practice this week is simply fantastic news - clearly a buy-in - and apparently the only team in the NFL to do so. Excellent. ---Still giddy about the situation in the WR room. Feels like a powder-keg of potential. ---Apparently, per Dehner in his weekly segment w/ Mo Egger yesterday, after being goaded to talk about it, said McPherson was 4 of 4 during the session - making from 33 to 53 yards. Seibert 3 of 4 (he missed from 53). Happy that this coaching staff won't be repeating the Marvin mistake from four years ago and that they will roll with McPherson come September. ---The thing at camp I am quietly curious about? Reports on Chris Evans when the pads come on. I am low-key fired up about his potential in this offense as a change-of-pace back what with his skills catching passes out of the backfield. ---I still can't believe that Burrow made it back to participate as much as he did for OTAs. Absolutely awesome development for him and the team on so many levels. He's just such an obvious leader, having him there was probably catalyst for the 100% attendance. That he got to get throws in with Chase, Higgins, Boyd et al over three weeks is potentially huge. ---This is as excited as I have been for a season in awhile. Weird, since they are 6-25-1 in their last two years, but, nothing seems impossible to me anymore with Burrow in place and the offensive weapons at his disposal. I don't know at all what the season might hold, but I have no reason to put any limits on what might unfold. Allowing some optimism into my Bengals rooting life feels okay, for a change.
  12. 2021 Off-season OTA/Mini-Camp Stuff

    Gotta admit, I haven't really appreciated just how rare the Bengals having 100% at the previous three weeks of voluntaries was as compared to the rest of the teams in the league. Won't guarantee anything in the fall, of course, but it sure isn't a bad sign either. And in person meetings and being able to move normally around the facility starting in July at camp would be really, really helpful, for certain. I agree with Bates, there may be some competitive advantage gained from that - especially if some of your opponents are not at that point.
  13. 2021 Off-season OTA/Mini-Camp Stuff

    The Dehner OTA wrap-up piece: https://theathletic.com/2654381/2021/06/15/why-zac-taylor-called-bengals-camp-early-and-the-advantages-it-could-create/