The Bengals picked Billy Price in the first round on Thursday, and his teammates are already excited about him.
It is easy to understand why. He brings a kind of mentality to the game you don’t see very often, and he is a major upgrade over what the team has had in the middle of the offensive line for a long time.
One of the players who was most excited to meet him was his new quarterback Andy Dalton. Dalton and his wife took Price and his girlfriend out for dinner.
“Just getting to meet him and put a name with the face and just welcome him to the city, that’s the position I’m in now,” Dalton told Jay Morrison of Dayton Daily News.
Dalton hasn’t taken a snap from a different center to start the game since the 2013 season. Russell Bodine started every game for four seasons with the Bengals before leaving for the Bills this offseason. This is a huge change for Dalton on top of changing offenses for essentially the first time in his NFL career.
However, he and Price won’t get to really get started on getting the offense down until the entire team meets for OTA’s on May 22nd. Even then, it will only be mentally that Price and Dalton can work together as the center will still be recovering from a pec injury he suffered at the Scouting Combine. He should be ready for training camp, though.
One player who doesn’t need to wait that long to let everyone know what Price is all about is his former college rival Ryan Glasgow. Glasgow and Price met three years in a row when he played for the Wolverines.
“Billy is a hell of a player, and the Bengals picked a great player in the first round,” Glasgow said. “Very strong. Huge guy. Very tough to move from a defensive perspective. Seeing his highlights from this year, it looks like he moves really well. It looks like he’s gotten a lot better as a player and I’m excited to be on his team now.”
It is worth noting that Glasgow never recorded a sack against the Buckeyes while Price was attending the university. He does have some first hand experience with him, and I’m sure coaches may have asked him some questions about the possibility of drafting him ahead of time.
Although, it doesn’t seem like Glasgow is keen on the floodgate of Buckeyes that appear to be making their way to Cincinnati.
"I don’t really like the Ohio State Buckeyes, and I’m sure they don’t really like the Michigan Wolverines, but personally, I have nothing against them and I’m glad we picked them,” he said. “It looks like they’re starting a little Ohio State pipeline. I’m not sure how I feel about that. But if they help us win, I’ll get over it.”
Of course winning makes everything okay. This isn’t actually an issue just more of fun little jab between former rivals. The keyword there being former.
And is another group of players who are excited about their new center, and that is the running backs.
“I love that,” Joe Mixon said. “Coming in with a mindset and attitude like that, that’s the stuff that me and Gio and Tra (Carson) and all of us backs like to hear. When he comes here and actually does it, that’s just going to make it better. I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait.”
It is safe to say that Price won’t be eating lunches alone. The Bengals and their players know how important bringing in Price was for 2018, and it doesn’t seem like anyone can wait for Price to start lining up in training camp.