Frank Pollack will be filling the shoes of Paul Alexander as the new offensive line coach for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Pollack is the first new coach at that position in over 20 years, so the idea of change is a natural one. While Pollack was attending the Senior Bowl though, he was asked about some of the young linemen on the team as well as one who will be hitting free agency in March.
“He was an impressive guy. I had a really good interview with him at the combine,” Pollack said of Bengals center and impending free agent Russell Bodine in an interview with Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com.
He did also add that “it’s early” to think be thinking about whether the team should re-sign their young center.
This isn’t a huge thing. Pollack clearly doesn’t want to say anything bad about a guy who could end up coming back next season. Pollack did talk about what he is looking for in a prospect while at the Senior Bowl.
“We’re looking for smart, tough, nasty guys that love football,” Pollack said. “To play that position you have to have a nasty streak.”
...Oh no. He really may want to bring Bodine back.
The whole nasty streak comment is very reminiscent of Alexander meeting any criticism of Bodine with a brag of how his center could beat up anyone in a fight. Not entirely sure what that would have to do with blocking in the NFL, but it is nice, I guess?
I’m really not trying to read too much into Pollack’s comments, but the idea of the Bengals re-signing Bodine isn’t great at all. It isn’t that he is just one of the worst starting centers in the NFL. It is how easily the Bengals could upgrade that position. This is the perfect excuse to move on from a player who needs a fresh start somewhere else.
Bodine finished the 2017 season as the 27th ranked center by Pro Football Focus. That isn’t to say he doesn’t have any good games games. At times he has been a solid player, but if the Bodine roller coaster is topping out at average then why would you get in line again?
Bodine is currently the ninth ranked free agent center as a four-year starter, by Walter Football. Honestly, the Bengals should sign a veteran center out there and draft one fairly early. Protecting Andy Dalton has to be the Bengals’ biggest priority this offseason, and upgrading from Bodine is a big step toward that.
Pollack also mentions how he will try and tap the talent of Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher, and it’s good he is determined to do that. However, the theme of this offseason for the offensive line should be competition and improvement. Bring in guys along the line, and let the best men win regardless of draft status.
As far as Bodine goes, I’m not sure Bengals fans can take anymore of this.
man. how many times do the bengals need to see russell bodine get embarrassed before they upgrade center? pic.twitter.com/DjPIUlHayQ— charles mcdonald (@FourVerts) September 11, 2017