The story so far for veterans during the Bengals OTAs has been coming along slowly.
High-profile guys like A.J. Green haven’t been run ragged, and injured or often injured guys like Tyler Eifert, Shawn Williams and the newest Bengals left tackle Cordy Glenn have all been given time to recover from injuries.
It makes sense given how fast the season is approaching, and that an injury during practices with shorts would be a hard way to lose a guy for any period of time.
Glenn specifically has been limited as he recovers from a foot injury that caused him to miss the final 10 games of the Bills’ season last year. Although, it probably has more to do with the Bengals wanting to get a look at their younger tackles, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com:
Pollack pledged to use the kids everywhere and it looks like the only guys exempt from moving have been the two veterans in Glenn and left guard Clint Boling. With as many as five tackles possibly making it, that gets a little bit interesting.
Former No. 1 pick Cedric Ogbuehi, who has struggled at both tackles during his career, looks to be having a bit of a revival under Pollack as he plays both sides. With Glenn getting spelled, guys like Bobby Hart are also playing both sides even though he appears to be in a battle to start at right tackle with Jake Fisher.
While Fisher nursed a nicked shoulder, Kent Perkins is also getting time as he continues to interest them in his second season undrafted out of Texas. At 6-5, 320 pound Perkins has some serious NFL thickness.
The fight for both offensive line spots on the right side of the offensive line will be watched very closely until Week 1. With Glenn obviously taking the left tackle position, that means Hart, Ogbuehi and Fisher will have to fight it out for right tackle.
Despite his early struggles we should expect Ogbuehi to get every opportunity to win that job. The Bengals won’t want to admit that they missed on him if they don’t have to. That doesn’t mean he will be out there Week 1 though. If he struggles during the preseason and Hart or Fisher play well, they will give them that spot.
It is interesting that Hobson mentions Perkins though. At this point, I wouldn’t say he is a dark horse candidate to start, but him being mentioned like this makes you think he could have an outside shot at the 53-man roster rather than a second season on the practice squad.
It is also good that the Bengals are experimenting with different guys in different places. They have a very versatile set of linemen that have really been crammed into a spot so far. A guy like Christian Westerman was projected to be able to play guard or center during the draft process, but he never took a snap as the center since being drafted, despite Russell Bodine’s struggles.
The team obviously drafted Billy Price to fill that role in 2018, but it would be nice to see if he is a better backup option than T.J. Johnson. Trey Hopkins is another guy that the team has talked about possibly moving out to tackle. He started at right tackle last season when healthy, but after being forced to move Boling out to left tackle due to injury last season, it wouldn’t hurt to see what Hopkins can do at tackle. Even if it only comes up on emergency situations.
As far as Glenn adapting to his new surroundings, it has gone fairly well. He has especially taking a liking to the Bengals’ new approach to the running game.
“It’s fast. We’ve got some explosive weapons,” Glenn said. “We have a different variety of schemes. We’ve got different ways to attack a defense. With 28 (Mixon) and 25 (Bernard), it’s nice.”
Glenn has spent the last couple of seasons blocking for LeSean McCoy in Buffalo, and while he is one of the best backs in the league, it is hard not to appreciate the diversity of the Bengals running backs. The variety of the offense also has to be exciting after coming from Buffalo where they loved to run the ball far more than passing.
The Bengals moved from the 12th to the 21st in the draft to acquire Glenn, and while he understands how important he is to this team, we shouldn’t expect him to come in and be Andrew Whitworth, at least as far as being the team leader goes.
“I’m not a rah-rah guy. I’ve always tried to lead by example,” Glenn said. “Just watch me work every day. But it’s the kind of thing in the room where you can feed off each other. Somebody might watch how you use your hands or you might see how they took a step and you kind of look to each other.”
Glenn shouldn’t need to be relied upon in a leadership role anyway. Andy Dalton has taken on the team captain role, and Clint Boling has been a nice leader along the offensive line in the wake of Whitworth leaving. Also, we can’t forget Price, who looks and sounds like he can fill that role sooner rather than later.
It seems that Glenn is on board, and it will be exciting to actually see him out there in action as well as the rest of the offensive line competing for spots when the preseason finally rolls around.