The Cincinnati Bengals may have a rotating offensive line this season.
With left tackle Jonah Williams starting his career, the team should be hopeful that it’s much improved, allowing some protection for Joe Burrow, who is entering the league with uber-high expectations. The Bengals o-line was one of the league’s worst in 2019.
With Williams, Trey Hopkins, free-agent signee Xavier Su’a-Filo and Michael Jordan looking likely to be starters, Taylor isn’t quite ready to name that fifth and final starter at right tackle.
Bobby Hart has been getting quite a bit of first-team snaps, but Fred Johnson is still in the mix for the position.
“I think Fred’s still battling for that job,” Zac Taylor said via ESPN’s Ben Baby. Johnson played in six games for Cincinnati last season, starting just one. As for Hart, it’s a completely different story.
Hart has started the last 32 games for Cincinnati and has yet to miss a game while in the Queen City. Johnson could squeeze himself in to the opening week lineup, but history seems to side with Hart, who started camp with the first team.
For both Johnson and Hart, they seem to be the two players on the hot seat. And if whoever the starter is struggles, look for them to be interchangeable in a plethora of roles.
think the expectation has always been fred johnson can eventually beat out bobby hart, not that he would be the starter immediately— john sheeran (@John__Sheeran) August 17, 2020
Another option could be keeping Hart on a short leash and preparing Johnson, a player the team’s line coach seems to love. They haven’t committed to him because he’s not ready for that quite yet, but he’s “improving.”
“Fred has got some serious talent, he’s enormous, he’s very smart, he can pick it up. Is he our best right tackle? No. But he’s getting experience playing a lot against the 1s. He’s improving,” offensive line coach Jim Turner told Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson.