Bengals offensive tackle Jake Fisher is having a rough start to his NFL career.
After being drafted in the second round out of Oregon in this year's NFL draft, most expected Fisher to be nothing more than a swing tackle his first year while developing behind Andre Smith and Andrew Whitworth. A shoulder injury in training camp sidelined Fisher for almost three weeks as he missed the first two preseason games.
When Fisher finally returned to make his NFL debut Saturday night against the Bears, it was a game he'd probably rather forget as soon as possible. Fisher simply looked overmatched the entire night and couldn't even get lined up correctly at times. He was flagged twice for lining up too far back, which negated an AJ McCarron run for a first down and a big run by Cedric Peerman for 20 yards.
All of this led to Pro Football Focus giving Fisher a horrific -9.0 grade. That's a very hard thing to do in just 43 snaps, and it already has Fisher ranked 206th out of 210 offensive tackles who've played in the preseason.
There wasn't really anything Fisher did right Saturday night. He was constantly bending forward too far, not getting back in his stance quick enough and losing the leverage battle almost as soon as the ball was snapped, such as on this play:
When you're pass blocking like that, it makes it easier for defensive ends to blow right by you, or just toss you aside. The latter is what Willie Young did to Fisher on this play:
On this play, Young blows Fisher right back and then gets to McCarron as he's releasing the pass:
Again, this was Fisher's first professional football game, so writing him off now would be foolish. He wasn't exactly going against a slouch of a defensive lineman in Young either. Young was PFF's No. 15 defensive end in 2013 after all.
Still, Fisher needs to bounce back in a big way vs the Colts in the preseason finale if he wants to have any hope of playing this year and not being a routine gameday inactive.