Bengals’ center Billy Price is going into a strange offseason. Last year he came in as a first-round pick, and was clearly one of the franchises’ biggest additions to a huge area of need. He recently shared some thoughts on the upcoming season as well as Dwayne Haskins, who he spent time with at Ohio State.
Haskins’ draft stock has had what seemed to be a rough week as rumors of him potentially falling in the draft circulate. It seems that he could theoretically slide all the way out of the first round, which is something Price wouldn’t hate if it meant the Bengals had a shot at drafting him.
“I think Dwayne is going to be a franchise guy later on, once he gets the offense rolling, once he gets complete control of what he’s doing in whatever program, whatever franchise, whatever type of offense he’s in,” Price told Bob Papa and Charlie Weis on The Opening Drive. “He’s going to be phenomenal. And I really look forward to watching him develop as he gets up in the NFL. Again, I’d love to see him close to home in Cincinnati with me whenever, you know, Andy (Dalton) decides to hang it up. But it’s going to be great. He’s going to be a very good player.”
Price may not have shared the field that often with Haskins (he only appeared in eight games during the 2017 season without much action), but Price did see him everyday at practice. He also watched him play like we did when he put up 50 passing touchdowns last season.
The Bengals could also be an ideal spot for something else that Price mentioned. They could give Haskins time to sit and gain control over the new offensive system being put into place in Cincinnati. Many analysts think Haskins could benefit greatly from having a season or two to sit and adjust to the NFL game. After all, he only started one season at Ohio State and he is only 21-years-old.
Price also does a great job of trying to not make it seem like he is stepping on his current quarterback’s toes. It does seem more like he views Haskins as a quarterback of the future and not an outright replacement for Dalton.
He went on to talk about the challenges this offseason brings to a player like himself. After Cincinnati ultimately ended their third straight losing season, he found himself on a team with a new head coach as well as offensive line coach than last year.
“These guys weren’t the guys that drafted you,” Price said. “Coach Pollack and Coach Lewis gave me a great opportunity in Cincinnati. It’s just tremendous, tremendous expectation, especially on myself, especially coming in early. Went through preseason, went through the first two games, (suffered a foot injury) in the second game, and then I went away had some rough stuff, issues that I had to make sure I got fixed on the field-wise.
“And then coming into this year again, (new offensive line coach Jim) Turner and I have never worked together before. He’s never been able to coach me, I’ve never been under his authority, etc. So I have to prove to him, I have to show him that I am his guy, a franchise guy in the center of that line, making sure I hold things down.”
It is clear that Price is bringing the correct mindset to this change in coaching. There are players who could feel anxious about their spot in the future plans of this team, but Price isn’t ready to be written off without a fight. He seems ready to prove that he was worth the pick Cincinnati used on him, and that even if Zac Taylor and Jim Turner didn’t pick him themselves, he is going to make them feel like they are glad they inherited him.