|This fuzzy screen-cap is Andrew Whitworth's departure after defending himself from the eye-gorging defensive tackle, John Henderson.|
Is it a surprise that the Cincinnati Bengals moved Andrew Whitworth to left tackle and Andre Smith at right tackle during their first day of OTA? We battled the idea amongst ourselves, the mighty warriors of conjecture, prophesy and forecasting. How will Bengals offensive line will stack up, we asked. Apparently, the offensive tackles are already set.
(Marvin Lewis) said after practice that's how the tackles are going to line up as long as he's the head coach.
"When I watched (Smith) on tape, that's what he looked like to me. It looked like he would have an opportunity to be real successful," Lewis said. "I feel real good about Andrew and what he can do on the other side. I feel like that kind of locks us down for a lot of years for two very key spots ... as long as I'm here.
"It fits the pieces the right way. Nate did a lot of good things at the end of last year getting an opportunity to play for the first time when we played real football. But we've got some other guys competing there with (Andrew) Crummey and (Evan) Mathis. We have to see what we've got."
The newlywed is pumped, apparently thinking that marriage isn't challenging enough.
"Now that I've got a chance to be the left tackle, I want to devote myself to being the guy they can rely on as their franchise guy; that's where I want myself," Whitworth said. "You're playing on an island and there's a different tempo to things you do at tackle and guard. There'll be a change in tempo, a little bit of a transition getting used to that."
We applaud the decision. We applaud it because it was made now. In May. No OTA musical chairs. No training camp competition. No preseason mix-and-matching. None of that. The Bengals have a left tackle now, and his name is Andrew Whitworth.
Now all that aside, with Smith being the team's right tackle, what of Anthony Collins; the guy that impressed us so much last year stepping up to the plate against some of the league's best pass rushers? Apparently, he's going to be the team's first backup tackle. That's right. Our offensive line is filled with so much depth that our backup tackle is a guy that shutdown the NFL's 2008 Defensive Player of the Year on a national Thursday Night broadcast who is now pouting because he thinks the only winners visit the White House. Well, national is relative because it was on the NFL Network. But still. Impressive none-the-less. Not a bad thing we have going with our offensive tackles.