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Bobby Hart wants to prove himself and start all 16 games for Bengals in 2018

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The Bengals’ new offensive lineman talks about his goals for the season, opinions on Marvin Lewis and what he thinks about his critics.

NFL: New York Giants at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals’ offensive line is getting a fresh start in 2018 and one guy that’s particularly excited about that is Bobby Hart. The former Giants offensive lineman was signed by the Bengals this offseason after New York parted ways with its seventh round pick from the 2015 NFL Draft.

Hart recently joined the Scoop B Radio Podcast with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson to discuss his what he brings to the Bengals, his thoughts on Marvin Lewis and much more.

“I’m an athletic, hungry guy that’s smart and just willing to work,” Hart said. “I have a lot to prove at this point for myself, being an elite player in this league. Last year kind of got derailed early, you know, getting hurt in the sixth, seventh play of the game and being the player I am I’ve been trying to fight through it when I really should have just sat down, but it’s good because it’s a fresh start, a fresh beginning to do myself right for a lot of goals that I’ve set for myself.”

Hart says he hasn’t paid attention the public criticism he’s faced, which included some saying he gave up on the Giants when he refused to play in the team’s Week 17 matchup. SB Nation’s own — and former Giants offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz — was among those who publicly commented on the topic.

Schwartz referred to Hart as “locker room cancer,” which is a pretty bold statement. And then Hart responded with his own attack on Schwartz.

“No, I haven’t talked to Geoff,” Hart said, “and I shouldn’t have responded to Geoff. He’s a guy that that’s what he does, and it was in the heat of the moment at that point, a lot of things were transpiring, and I responded to him when I really shouldn’t have.”

But as far as other criticisms go, Hart doesn’t care what people say.

“I know who I am as a player so, fair or unfair, people are going to say what they’re going to say. That’s that,” Hart said.

With his new opportunity in Cincinnati, Hart is excited by his teammates and the talent surrounding him. He’ll be competing for the starting right tackle job with Bengals 2015 second round pick Jake Fisher.

“This team as a whole, you just look around the locker room and there’s just so much talent,” he said. “You know their names, if you’re a fan of football at any level: if you watch college and you look around and you see the names and it’s exciting, to say the least.”

Hart is also a fan of Marvin Lewis, his new head coach. Lewis has been known to give plenty of players second (and third) chances, which is what appears to be the case with Hart following his departure from the Giants.

“He’s a great guy. I felt like he was very jovial,” Hart said of meeting Lewis. “He understood the situation I was from, and it was good.”

As far as his personal goals this year, Hart says he wants to start a full season, which he’s never done in three years in the NFL.

“I want to start all 16 games this year,” he said. “I haven’t met that in my career. I think I still have 14, something around there in my second year in the league. That’s one thing, and to make it and to play in the playoffs.”

But as for team goals, it’s all about the Super Bowl.

“The Super Bowl is definitely the goal, as I feel like it is for every team,” Hart said. “But right now, we just have to continue to put the work in, and take one game at a time, and hopefully we’ll end up holding the Lombardi trophy.”