Would Andrew Whitworth be better suited at left tackle than any rookie tackle in the draft? This is a fair question that has some legs to it. However, Whitworth hasn't been without his struggles. While solid for most of his rookie season at left tackle for the injured Levi Jones, Whitworth was simply schooled by the speedy Dwight Freeney; three sacks if I recall. Remember the tie against the Eagles last year? Jones was simply terrible, having reportedly a "problem with his foot", while we held our breath while Trent Cole was pwning. So Marvin Lewis took him out of the game, moved Whitworth to left tackle and Scott Kooistra to left guard. Whitworth subsequently gave up two sacks to Cole; once tripping over a blocking running back. Later in the game, Whitworth would suffer an injury that ended his season.
If the Bengals decide to move Whitworth to left tackle, I wouldn't have a problem with that. There is the concern that he's struggled against the league's elite players, but many people do. On the other hand, that's a terrible excuse and if the Bengals can't protect Palmer against the league's elite, then we're done before we're started. It's the whole complancy self-argument that if you convince yourself just enough that things will be alright, even though you hold no argument or evidence to support your claims, then doing nothing will the disaster that we see on the side of the roads clogging traffic.
Here's three of 6.4 trillion theories that could be used to address the offensive line.
- Draft an offensive tackle and a center. Place the drafted offensive tackle at the position he'd be more effective and then put Anthony Collins on the other end. Keep Whitworth and Bobbie Williams at the guard spots and either put your rookie center into a trial by fire scenario, or have him back up either Dan Santucci or Kyle Cook in an effort to get the rookie center acclimated to the league.
- Push Andrew Whitworth to left tackle, Anthony Collins to right tackle, draft a center in the second round and a guard later. The guard could likely start immediately or he could also sit behind Nate Livings for a period. The rookie center starts, or, like above, sits behind Santucci or Cook for a brief introduction to the league.
- Keep Levi Jones at left tackle, Anthony Collins at right tackle, both guards at their own spots and have a competition between Santucci and Cook for the center spot. If this happens, I'll cry.
There are options that the Bengals could use when filling out their roster and starting lineup at the offensive line. Option number one seems to carry the most reason. The second option is something that's been promoted from others. The third option is, well, reason for the wife for some sympathy........................