Anthony Munoz has a special place with the Cincinnati Bengals as their first and only member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. So when he shares his opinion on the current team, everyone seems to listen.
Recently Munoz went on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney and shared his thoughts on the offensive line especially Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher:
“That’s why you get drafted (in the first and second round),” Munoz said of the offensive tackles. “(The Bengals) go up to Cleveland and just destroy Cleveland (31-7 in Week 4). Cleveland’s been in some good games, but they just destroyed Cleveland. And then they showed some grit against the Bills and hang in there and win (20-16). Two big wins. So I think things are coming along. I think with the young guys, with the schemes helping them out, you slide this way, you slide that way – that’s what you need with young linemen to build that confidence. I like what’s going on.”
It is interesting how he doesn’t note the rotation at offensive tackle that includes Andre Smith coming in at both right and left tackle, but he is still right. The offensive tackles have played better than they did in the first two weeks.
Bill Lazor taking over the offense has led to offensive scheme catering toward the young tackles more than early in the season. They still aren’t quite where you’d like your starting tackles to be, but they aren’t derailing the Bengals season anymore.
Munoz also shared his thoughts on the Bengals going into a bye week after a two-game winning streak as well as facing the Steelers the following week:
“After two wins, I wanted to keep going,” said Munoz, who played for the Bengals from 1980-92. “In Week 5, especially with the lack of hitting in camp, you should feel pretty good, so let’s keep (it) going. But they have an off week and then they go Pittsburgh. That’ll be another big test.”
“It doesn’t matter how either team is doing over the years,” Munoz said. “It’s Steeler Week, as we called it. If I continue to see that progress against the Steelers, (that will be good). But I do like what’s going on right now.”
It does slow down a lot of the momentum the Bengals had after two weeks with such an early bye, but the team really needed it. John Ross, Dre Kirkpatrick, Adam Jones, Tyler Boyd and even Andy Dalton were all dealing with injuries following the Bengals win over the Bills. Ross hasn’t played since Week 2 because of a knee injury, and this gives him an extra week of rest without pushing to play.
Tyler Eifert also just decided to have season-ending back surgery. The team has been trying to get by without him for a few weeks, but it looks like those short-term plans will have to be made more permanent. Eifert is obviously an important piece to this Bengals team by just being on the field, and Munoz recognized it before he got off the air:
“It is very frustrating,” Munoz said. “You see the ability he has. Tyler Kroft is coming along with the absence of Tyler Eifert, but you need him on the field and he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. It’s been very frustrating, especially with this offensive line coming together.”
“(He) creates a lot of mismatches,” Munoz said, “but when you don’t have him there, it becomes very frustrating.”