The Cincinnati Bengals made a surprising move ahead of the start of NFL Free agency by cutting starting center Kyle Cook. Everyone immediately assumed it would now be Trevor Robinson's job to lose after he started and played admirably as a rookie in 2012.
Not so fast, as guard Mike Pollak was actually drafted out of Arizona State as a guard/center combo lineman. Coming into the 2008 Draft, Pollak was compared to former NFL center Jeff Faine, who had a solid career with the Saints, Browns and Buccaneers (and one forgetful season with the Bengals).
Since being drafted in the second round by the Colts, he's played mostly at guard with some snaps at tackle sprinkled in, but never has started an NFL game as a center.
Pollak finished his ASU career by starting 31 straight at center on his way to being named First-team All-Pac 10 as a senior. Needless to say, he knows how to play the position:
"They made me a center when I went to Arizona State and by the time I left I felt like I was born to play the position,’ said Pollak, via Bengals.com. "I know there is the draft and free agency to go through, but I’m excited at getting the opportunity to play center. I like being the guy you can count on. That leadership role fits my personality more."
Don't just hand the starting job to Pollak yet though.
"Not only is there a looming training camp battle with third-year man Trevor Robinson, a veteran of seven starts as a rookie, and last year’s seventh-rounder T.J. Johnson, but there is also a deep crop of centers in the draft," says Geoff Hobson. "It's also believed the Bengals are going to bring in some veteran offensive linemen let go by other teams to examine."