We spoke to Addicted to Quack's "Rusty Ryan" to learn more about the former Oregon Duck and new Bengals OT, Jake Fisher. Fisher played next to Marcus Mariota for three of his four years at Oregon, and was known for sticking up for his quarterback and his frequent penalties. Fisher also once joked he wasn't worthy of the Heisman, though some argued otherwise. Read on to learn more about Fisher's time as a Duck and what to expect from him this year on the Bengals.
Cincy Jungle: What do you think of the Bengals selection of Jake Fisher in the second round?
Addicted to Quack: As a second round pick I think drafting Jake Fisher is a great value move. A lot of "experts" predicted a late first round, but then again, who knows what a lot of NFL teams are thinking? (Looking at the Jags, Titans, Radiers, etc.) I think he's in a solid position to adapt his talents to the NFL
CJ: What were some of your favorite things about watching Fisher during his time at Oregon?
AtQ: He's athletic and talks trash. He can pull around a tight end and lead block downfield. He can handle speed on the outside and people trying to make moves. He was the top linemen at the combine in all the tests except for the bench press, which is probably the most overrated and misunderstood test.
With Mariota especially who is probably the nicest guy ever and I say that 100% sincerely after talking with people that know him and friends of mine who have hung out with him multiple times. So Oregon was often painted that way by the media because it was an easy narrative. But Fisher talked trash. He was a bad man at times (In the Ali way). You can see him jumping in to defend Mariota often as if he was his personal bodyguard outside of his blindside protector role. He had 0 problems talking trash between snaps while set on the line to people he was guarding while still perfectly doing his job. I always appreciated a good close-up on Fisher between plays.
CJ: How about any least favorites?
AtQ: Penalties, no question. Fisher and center Hroniss Grasu seemed like some of the most penalized players on the offensive line. Fisher got a fair amount of holding calls because when he gets an edge rusher he had a habit of letting his hands get wide. No one really had the physical gifts to bull rush him effectively and really attack the wide hands.
CJ: Did he have any memorable injuries during his college days?
AtQ: He had a leg injury and missed some time last season. The rushing attack and pass protection when Fisher was injured was abysmal. Washington State (WASHINGTON STATE!) made our offensive line look mediocre and they collapsed the pocket multiple times on Mariota. There were more sacks in that game than the rest of the season when Fisher came back. He was huge for the offensive line.
CJ: Do you think he'll be better suited at left or right tackle? Are there any other positions you could see him playing?
AtQ: His skill set is really perfect for a tackle position. With his speed and a few improvements made with adding power in his hands he's got a lot of possibilities to be a top left tackle in "the league." I think he's got an extremely high ceiling. I felt the same way about Kyle Long in terms of how well they can adjust to the league.
CJ: The Bengals have said they'll "find a way" to fit Fisher in to play this year. Did he shuffle along the line in college? Or play multiple positions?
AtQ: He didn't really play that much at other positions. Could he have in college? I think so. But we don't know that for sure. When Oregon had to shuffle the line constantly some seasons, Fisher was the rock at left tackle. The constant that coaches and fans knew was handled. He might've spent some time at right tackle but was never there for long and I can't even recall which games he played RT. I think putting him in at RT would really negate a lot of his skills. He did need to use angles if he was run blocking and his athleticism might be watered down if he has to essentially fight in a phone booth. If the Bengals run more zone rushing or use guards to pull around the edge then I could see him being a short-term fit there, but long-term it limits his potential.
CJ: How high did Ducks fans expect to see Fisher drafted?
AtQ: Late first round. We knew he wasn't a top prospect and had things that he need to improve and work on before it was safe enough for him to be an early first round draft pick. With tackles being a need for many teams, the demand might have pushed him up to the late first. I think we were a little surprised he made it all the way to 53.
CJ: Off-the-field was Jake known for anything?
AtQ: Not that I know of in terms of quirky stuff or being Mother Teresa volunteering. Although in today's NFL and post-Rice sports world not hearing anything of players' off-field activities is really a best case scenario.
CJ: Is there anything else you think we should know or that Bengals fans would be interested in learning?
AtQ: Oregon's strength and conditioning staff always prefers "bullets over bowling balls" meaning they prefer fast and lean players over big players and that goes all the way to the offensive line. Fisher is a lean 306, which sounds pretty ridiculous. He has the potential to add a lot of muscle weight. He can think through defensive schemes and pick up assignments very quickly since Oregon runs a play every 23 seconds. He's also handled a lot of different rushers and schemes in the Pac-12 from base nickel defenses, 4-3, 3-4, and variations of those defense. I don't see something catching him off guard. He will have to adjust to defenses that have a lot more time to set up and pull some exotic packages out but for the most part he's seen many different types of fronts and guarded many different types of players, some who are in the NFL now.