This year’s Cincinnati Bengals training camp should be a fun and interesting one to watch!
Who will be the team’s kicker? Can the offensive line exceed expectations? Which rookies will make the cut? Which veterans may surprisingly depart Cincinnati in September? These are all questions we’ll be looking to find answers for during the next month.
We gathered the Cincy Jungle staff to share their opinions on what they’re most looking forward to with training camp now here!
Jason Marcum: William Jackson’s rise
I'm really looking forward to seeing William Jackson finally in action. Jackson has a world of potential, but we never got to see it last year before he tore his pec. The Bengals already have their starting corners set, but if Jackson can step up on the boundary -- especially when Adam Jones is suspended Week 1 -- perhaps the Bengals will be willing to cut ties with Jones next year and let Jackson compete for that starting spot. If nothing else, Jackson could be the third corner and still have a big role in the defense this year.
Mason Prophater: Young players getting experience
I am excited to see the progression of guys from last year. Players like Andrew Billings and William Jackson III were hampered by injuries as we all know and I want to see if there are any hiccups in their game or if they used their recovery time as a means to work on the mental aspect of their games. Training videos, though just a small athletic snippet of what is to come, have shown us these guys are the real deal and I am ready to see it translated onto the field.
I am also very curious regarding how good some of the rookies will look like. Guys like John Ross, Joe Mixon, Jordan Willis and Carl Lawson. Finally, I am anxious to see the progression of Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher because I am probably more worried about the offensive line than any other position group this season. It's going to be a fun season, I can feel it, but guys need to be given the opportunity to step up and then they must go out there and perform at the peak of their ability.
Anthony Cosenza: Healthy returns
I'm most looking forward to seeing so many of the team's stars back and healthy. Throughout 2016, the Bengals were missing some of their most dynamic playmakers, especially on offense, and they should all be back around the time training camp commences. Tyler Eifert, A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard should all be back at the onset of training camp, even if it's in a limited basis for Eifert and Bernard. Throw in John Ross once he's ready, as well as Joe Mixon and this should be a scary offense if they can manage to avoid that injury bug this year.
LB3PTMAN: Offensive firepower
I'm most excited to see the offense get back its firepower with Eifert healthy. Hopefully seeing Ross and Mixon as well will be great. Also just seeing the new rookies in general. Hopefully William Jackson III and Billings look like the All Pros we need them to be. And hopefully we finally get some pass rush across from Carlos Dunlap for the first time since Michael Johnson had his good year.
Want to see if Ogbuehi has really improved. Curious how he holds up against Carl Lawson in practices.Also want to see how Bodine does vs Billings.
Scott Schulze: Will John Ross stay healthy?
I’m curious to see if John Ross stays healthy and plays in Week 1. After Cedric Ogbuehi and William Jackson III failed to play in Week 1 of their rookie years, it will be interesting to see if the Bengals can break the trend of first round picks who start their rookie year on an injury list and actually have a first round pick who plays in Week 1.
Rebecca Toback: Who rises to the top
There are a lot of legitimate training camp battles this year, which isn’t always the case with the Bengals. Will Joe Mixon earn a significant workload? Will the team keep seven wide receivers? Which offensive lineman make the cut? Will Andre Smith win the right guard spot? Which defensive lineman rise to the challenge and make the roster? Will Jake Elliott prove he is the long-term answer at kicker for the Bengals? These are just some of the questions we’ll be looking for answers to this summer. It’s going to be a fun ride, so buckle up!