Bobby Hart has done little to win over Bengals fans. In fact, Bengals fans have been wary about the state of the offensive line for years now.
But when the Bengals draft a quarterback first overall, he needs protection. Most fans don’t think Hart is adequate protection over at right tackle.
Joe Burrow has now been sacked 14 times this season, which puts him on pace to approach the NFL record.
Bengals’ offensive line coach Jim Turner came to the defense of his crew, including Hart.
“You’ve really got to watch these guys and see what the situation is, like when they give up pressures, when they give up sacks,” said Turner. “Sometimes is the quarterback holding the ball. Does he get it out on time? There’s a timing to everything that we do.”
The main focus here are the eight sacks that Burrow took in Philadelphia in Week 3.
Burrow admitted to holding onto the ball to long and taking sacks on purpose.
“There were a couple times where I held the ball a little too long at the end of the half and at the end of the game that,” said Burrow. “The eight sacks was kind of misleading because end of the half and end of the game you don’t want to turn it over. You don’t want the clock to stop, so I took a couple sacks on purpose.”
Maybe taking a sack on purpose isn’t the best way to describe it. Taking a calculated risk is probably better. Burrow just dropped back, felt pressure, and figured taking a sack was better than throwing the ball away in that situation.
Either way, Turner thinks his line doesn’t deserve all of the blame for Burrow’s eight-sack game against the Eagles.
“So it’s not always what meets the eye, and I think that, out of all my players, Bobby Hart is the most underappreciated player and the most picked-on player by everybody from the media to whoever wants to talk football. It’s like every pressure we’ve ever had gets blamed on that kid.
“I think Bobby’s playing the best football I’ve seen him play in his career right now. I think mentally, he’s a great place right now. I think he’s unaffected by anything that’s said about him, and I think he knows, like if you watch his side of the line, it’s solid. He’s got a revolving door over there. It hasn’t always been easy for him as far as who he’s playing next to. So, I’m very comfortable with the way he’s playing. I am not worried about Bobby Hart.”
Some coaches say the best ability is availability, but that’s the only ability Hart has. Apparently that’s all Turner needs.