Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander won't say if Kyle Cook will start or if there will be a training camp battle this year.
Cincinnati Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander has coached his share of players, from Willie Anderson, Richie Braham, Mike Goff, Eric Steinbach, Levi Jones among many others. Currently Alexander, who has been with the Bengals since 1994, is developing a new generation of linemen, led by Pro Bowler Andrew Whitworth, Andre Smith, who could be one of the top free agents at offensive tackle, and two promising young guards in Clint Boling and Kevin Zeitler.
Rounding out the promising young offensive lineman is center Trevor Robinson, who was graded by many experts as being the league's best rookie center. Robinson replaced Jeff Faine midseason, when the Bengals went from 3-5 depression into an unmatched second half that placed them back into the postseason. Eventually the injured Kyle Cook returned and indirectly (we're not making direct causality) the Bengals offense struggled, leaving one of the bigger offseason questions.
Will Kyle Cook return as the starter or will Robinson have a chance during training camp competitions?
Geoff Hobson with Bengals.com writes:
But Alexander says the emergence of rookie center Trevor Robinson has given the Bengals flexibility at backup guard since veteran center Kyle Cook played guard at Michigan State. Alexander says he has yet to make up his mind when asked if the center job is Cook's or if there is an open competition. Cook played the last three games after he came off injured reserve-recall with an ankle problem that wiped out his season until December.
"I'm not ready to answer that until I go through and look at all the cutups," Alexander said. "When they were playing together, they were grading out almost identical. Maybe one game a little better than the other. And Cook was only playing at 85 percent. I like Cook, I like Robinson. They're legitimate starting centers. Robinson played guard in college (Notre Dame), but his frame is more suited for center."'