We're friends and fans with WhoDeyFans.com. The guys over there are level-headed and enjoy the same luxuries as we do -- namely beer, pizza and Bengals football. But we have a counterpoint we'd like to make regarding a recently posted suggestion that Andre Smith should move to left guard, promoting Anthony Collins as the team's starting right tackle. The idea has been floated for some time, especially last year. Not only do we agree with Nate that it probably won't happen. But it shouldn't happen either. For several reasons.
First: Besides a handful of reported practices in 2010, Smith hasn't trained as an offensive guard. For those of you asking what the big deal is, consider this. Offensive play designs are largely comprised of timing, synchronization and strategy. The assignment for a left guard would be different than a right tackle; so this would need time to develop and at this point in the preseason, that time is virtually gone. True. Some players are able to move around and do it well. Others need time and the fact that Cincinnati's coaching staff, whom love versatile offensive lineman, ditched the idea long ago is telling.
Second. Moving Smith to left guard prevents the opportunity for Clint Boling to unseat Nate Livings during training camp and preseason; something we're starting to suspect is a large possibility. What about moving Smith to right guard? He's not going to replace Bobbie Williams. Moving on.
Third: Athleticism. For the most part the Bengals have always employed a more athletic guard on the left side, mostly pulling during power formations.
Fourth. Anthony Collins is entering the final year under contract and who knows if he wants to return. Would you after being set aside for Dennis Roland? We wouldn't be surprised if there exists some animosity from Collins on the nonexistence for opportunities to start. There's no doubt we've made the same argument that Collins would be the best option to start at right tackle. But that wasn't in favor of moving Smith to guard, who is signed through the 2012 season and possibly 2014 if the team activates the remaining two years on his options (deadline: August 19). If Smith sticks around, you might as well allow him to develop at right tackle during a rebuilding year.
Fifth: Mike Brown didn't sign Smith to a $42 million contract with $21 million guaranteed to play offensive guard.
The idea has been floated around for some time. But if Smith is healthy and ready to take that next step, it's best if this team lets him develop as the team's right tackle.