Life in the NFL has been a struggle for Bengals offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi — a struggle that’s been well-documented.
With those struggles, the Bengals’ acquisition of left tackle Cordy Glenn made it seem likely that Ogbuehi would find himself as a backup when the season started in 2018. But there’s buzz for him to flip sides of the line and start at right tackle again, according to Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Owczarski said the option was mentioned back in March, but now it’s seeming more and more likely:
...with training camp bearing down in, there has been a bit more momentum behind the idea that the 2015 first-round draft pick could actually win the right tackle job over Jake Fisher and Bobby Hart.
Ogbuehi reportedly said he’s more comfortable on the right side with his new technique, the technique being coached by new offensive line coach Frank Pollack in his first season with the Bengals.
“With this technique, the right side is kind of better for me, using the hands more,” Ogbuehi said, according to The Enquirer. “With the old technique, I think the left was a little bit (better).”
Pollack has been working well with Ogbuehi, and as previously reported, Ogbuehi has been looking like the player the Bengals hoped he would be in team workouts. These reports came from spring workouts and there’s still all of training camp to go, which doesn’t even get underway for a few weeks, but things are pointing in the right direction for Ogbuehi.
Pollack previously said that Ogbuehi would move all over the line as the team prepared for the season, trying out both tackle and the right guard spots.
The former Texas A&M lineman hasn’t been right since he got to Cincinnati with a torn ACL. He’s tried both tackle spots and has been disastrous in each. He was ranked 70th among offensive tackles by Pro Football Focus (thanks to the fact that he’s allowed 78 total pressures and has received grades of under 45 the last two years).
Cincinnati declined Ogbuehi’s fifth option and he’s now in a contract year, set to become a free agent in 2019. Even without having his contract rights for next year, the team is determined to make this pick work out, and while he’s on the team and providing depth at the offensive line, it makes sense to try to find his best fit. But with the struggles he’s had at both tackle positions, it’s surprising to hear that he’s making this good of an impression at this point. Of course, it could just be offseason talk. Ogbuehi will need to prove his ability when the pads come on, which is when offensive coordinator Bill Lazor is really going to make his decisions.
Perhaps the fact that he Ogbuehi’s going into a contract year is the motivation he needed.