In the first preseason game against the Lions, Ndomukong Suh proved that the Bengals' interior offensive linemen were going to have a hard time keeping talented defensive tackles from getting to the quarterback up the middle. Nate Livings is betting against the run than he is in pass protection and Bobbie Williams is beginning to show his age.
So, in the second preseason game, the coaches decided to try letting 2011 fourth-round pick Clint Boling play both guard positions against the first-string defense. Even though the Bengals lost by a score of 27-7, Boling played well enough for the experiment to continue into the third week. According to head coach Marvin Lewis, Boling will be in the game very early again against the Panthers.
"In getting (Boling) out early with the offensive line group, I though he did well. I think this will be another step again this week to get Clint out there again."
The worst thing for rookie quarterback Andy Dalton would be to have an offensive line that didn't give him time to throw the ball, especially if the majority of the pressure came from between the tackles. If Boling can help keep Dalton safe in the pocket longer than Williams or Livings can, he should be the obvious starter.
Hopefully Paul Alexander can get the best group of guys on the field to keep Dalton out of trouble. We should get our best guess at who will be starting at each offensive line position by the time the third preseason game is over.