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To Pass The Football Again: Bengals Need To Focus On Redeveloping The Offensive Line With Pass Blockers

While we actually haven't sat in the coaches box during a game, hearing plays being called, or attended offensive meetings during the week, it often appeared to us that during the team's reign as a top-ten offense (from 2005-2007) was the result of having a superiorly talented players, most of whom played on the offensive line. When that offensive line started disintegrating after 2006, the team's offense slowly departed the ranks of offensive powerhouses.

Thus it didn't bode well for Palmer when one of the criticisms of Bob Bratkowski's offense was "the slow amount of time it took for routes to develop downfield, such as comebacks, digs and outs, putting the quarterback under duress to make perfect throws."

When the team's offensive line of 2005, often considered one of the best units in the NFL, either left for free agency or were released, the team never fully redeveloped the offensive line. Palmer no longer had the support passing the football and the team, nearly three years after the offensive line took a noticeable depreciation, decided to focus on building the offense with power blockers for the rushing offense.

When Palmer needed to drop back and throw the football, he never appeared comfortable throwing the football. While the statistics do show that the Bengals pass blocking was actually decent in terms of quarterback sacks and adjusted ratings through Football Outsiders, Bengals quarterbacks were sacked 25 times, knocked down an additional 34 times and were pressured (though not knocked down) 104 times in 2010.

As long as the team fails to build the offensive line with bona fide pass blockers, Palmer, or whomever the Bengals have under center in 2010, won't achieve any discussion of praise.