Let’s get to the point.
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis wants to bring center Russell Bodine back, per the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“We want to do everything in our power to get Russell back,” Lewis said. “Russell’s been, physically, mentally a tough football player for us. He was installed there as a rookie and he’s done nothing but continue to grow and get better and frankly grow into a guy you can count on to help lead the football team. I feel really good about him. So hopefully we’ll be able to get that done. I’d like to get that done. He’d like to get that done, from what he says.”
Pro Football Focus gave Bodine, who is entering the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, an overall grade of 46.9. This ranks No. 26 in the NFL, which has been constant (and deserved) grade throughout his four-year career.
So, this is where we are now, isn’t it?
Cincinnati, desperate for a change to climb the preverbal hump of success, kept their head coach. Despite an offense that ranked dead last over the last 14 games, the Bengals are keeping Bill Lazor as the team’s offensive coordinator.
Now, potentially Bodine?
This is insanity.
There is one interesting variable at play. And that’s Frank Pollack, the new offensive line coach. Pollack brings a new philosophy. During an interesting Twitter exchange with Jake Liscow, former Cincy Jungle contributor, former Bengals great Willie Anderson interestingly broke down the difference in teaching techniques that could lead to an improvement for the team’s struggling offensive line.
It’s impossible to predict if the offensive line will improve with Pollack; he’s a new coach replacing one that most fans and analysts had grown tired of. Obviously you’re going to favor the change, and it definitely peaks your interest.
“He was an impressive guy. I had a really good interview with him at the combine,” Pollack recalls.
During the Marvin Lewis era, the Bengals have a horrific track-record devising solutions at center. After the unexpected career-ending injury to Rich Braham, the Bengals used a pair of fourth-round picks on Eric Ghiaciuc (2005) and Bodine (2014), with the serviceable Kyle Cook stuck between them. One obvious constant was Paul Alexander; can Pollack prove that their struggles (not so much Cook) based on talent, or coaching?