Every year the Bengals go into the season and it's pretty much understood that they will come out of training camp with 9 offensive lineman on the opening day 53 man roster. However, with the recent injury to Travelle Wharton I can make a case why this should not be the case this year.
Personally, I'm comfortable with Clint Bolin filling in for Travelle Wharton at LG and I do not anticipate seeing much of a drop off.
My main concern is our O-line depth.
Anthony Collins = Great depth, he can play both tackle positions and if either of our starting tackles goes down with an injury he would be my first option to plug in, regardles of which side.
Dennis Roland - Adds a big frame as well as additional depth behind Anthony Collins. IMO he's not nearly as talented as Anthony Collins and should not for any reason be used before him at either tackle position. Having said that, he does add some value by being able to be utilized on specialty run packages like he has in the past.
Ottis Hudson - I have more confidence in him than a lot of other people on here do and he is my pick to back up both guard positions. I think he has the versatilty, athleticism, and size to be able to come in and perform at either guard position without it being too much of an issue.
Once we get passed these 3 backups we are pretty much screwed.
IMO - Reggie Stephens, Trevor Robinson and Mathew Oddonell are no where close to being ready to perform on the big stage. This is the reason I was exrtemely happy to see both Anthony Collins and Dennis Roland getting some work at guard this past week because it offers us some additional options in case of an emergency.
Here's how I would like to see line situation play out.
LT - Andrew Whitworth (Anthony Collins first back up, Dennis Roland 2nd back up)
LG - Clint Bolin (Ottis Hudson first back up, Anthony Collins 2nd, Dennis Roland 3rd)
RG - Kevin Zeitler (Ottis Hudson first back up, Anthony Collins 2nd, Dennis Roland 3rd)
RT - Andre Smith (Anthony Collins first back up, Dennis Roland 2nd back up)
This year the talent pool on the overall roster seems to be great and the cuts look to be extremely difficult. That's why I say instead of wasting a valuable roster spot on a less talented back-up O-lineman why not just go with our best 8 O-lineman and have them be able to back up multiple postitions, which is what it seems like they are trying to do.
In this scenereo instead of using a roster spot on someone like Reggie Stephens who IMO clearly is NOT ready, we can use that spot on another more talented player who may be on the bubble just because of the numbers (i.e. Jordan Shipley, George IIokoa, Robert Sands, Pat Simms, DeQuinn Evans, etc,).
This plan may sound a little scary depth wise but is it really anymore risky than going with just 2 active QB's, which is what we do now as well?