Former Bengals offensive lineman Joe Walker, a 12-year veteran as the team's right tackle, joined Lance McAlister on 700 WLW's Bengals Line Monday Night. When asked about some of the problems on this team, Walter points to his old playing ground, the offensive line. The problem isn't so much the players, rather it's that he suspects that the technique isn't being taught like it was in his day, where teams had 6-8 weeks of two-a-days as opposed to today where most teams go 2-3 weeks worth of training camp.
"You can kind of tell the technique isn't the most important part of the game," said Walter. "It's just trying to stay in front of the guy. We're going to draft the biggest, the strongest guy that we can, huddle on the team and hopefully he can out-muscle the guy in front of him. And that's not what the game is all about. It's about footwork and technique.
"I think this team lacks in a lot of technique. You look at some of these guys out there that are starting. Roland. Prime example, he's a big tall kid. But his technique, he gets out there great and his sets are perfect when he gets out there, its just that when he's ready to engage his hands goes wide and he leaves his chest wide open. It's so simple to fix, it's like it's not being taught, the technique on how to stop it or they don't know how to help him."
As a result of the bad offensive line play, Walter, along with Dave Lapham, believes that Palmer has become so shell-shocked that his "clock is messed up", therefore throwing passes under a constant threat of being plowed into, which causes his own technique problems while rushing his passes. "I think he's just been beat up and he's to the point where he's shell shocked," said Walter. "I'm kind of calling it a David Klingler type of fiasco. If you remember Kingler was always getting hit." He continues, "I think he's back there fending for his life, and he's scared he's going to get pummeled every time he lets go of the ball."
This exchange simplifies the same argument that we've had at Cincy Jungle for years, but were recently sidetracked from it after last season's playoff run.
Joe Walter: "It's start on the line. Football always has started with the front five."
Dave Lapham: "Always will."
Walter: "You're right, it always will."