The Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive line is easily one of the team’s biggest questions marks heading into next season.
Just two years ago, the Bengals had one of the best offensive lines in football. Now, they could have one of the worst after Andrew Whitworth left to sign a big-money deal with the Los Angeles Rams this offseason. The move came as a complete shock after Whitworth was expected to re-sign with the team he’s spent 11 seasons with.
What’s even more alarming is, even with Whitworth playing like one of the two or three best left tackles in the league last year, the line still regressed mightily to the point it was a liability more often than not.
Making matters worse this offseason is that right guard Kevin Zeitler left to sign with the division rival Cleveland Browns. He’s been a force at right guard for the past five seasons, one of the best in the business, so losing him makes the line an even bigger concern.
Adding insult to injury, Bengals Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz is with Zeitler while working with the Browns during OTAs as a guest coach.
Seeing Munoz with the Browns hurts in more ways than one. Arguably the greatest Bengal of all-time coaching with any division rival, let alone the in-state one, stings a great deal.
The Bengals could certainly use Munoz’s help. As mentioned above, the line is a major question mark heading into next season with guys like Jake Fisher and Cedric Ogbuehi starting at offensive tackle. Both are entering just their third NFL season and have had up-and-down starts to their careers, though mostly just down for Ogbuehi.
Having an all-time great tackle like Munoz helping out at practice would offer some assistance to those two, and one would assume Munoz would rather be coaching with the Bengals, if they wanted him.
Alas, we can only hope the Bengals’ linemen are already getting the best coaching possible. They’ll need it and then some to become a unit that this offense can rely on in 2017 and beyond.