David Carr. Andrew Luck. Maybe even Deshaun Watson.
Joe Burrow wouldn’t be the first young quarterback damaged due to a bad offensive line.
Burrow’s second career game saw him pressured over 20 times and hit a total of eight times according to Pro Football Focus. A ninth hit was in the cards on a first-and-10 delayed blitz in the fourth quarter had Jonah Williams not come off of his block and seen it at the last second.
We’re less than a calendar week into the season and we already know this offensive line remains far from fixed. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor knows it too, at least, and stated during his press conference on Friday that options for adjusting it will be examined.
“Nothing’s off the table. That’s for certain,” said Taylor. “We don’t want to rush into any decisions and make sure we’re making the right decisions for the group. In some ways, we had a different right guard in there. We need some reps, some live reps. But again, we’ll make the best decisions for that group. We have a couple of extra days here.”
Believing any decisions will be “the best decisions” is a little hard to do after this offseason. The lack of aggression when addressing the line this offseason was as inadequate despite it being predictable. They made it clear that certain players from last year would return as starters, and their only meaningful addition in Xavier Su’a-Filo, who’s been an oft-injured career backup for six years, is already on Injured Reserve battling an ankle injury. Apparently Billy Price is dealing with a bad ankle as well, which is why Fred Johnson got the chance to look completely out of place at right guard.
What other options are there? Sixth-round pick Hakeem Adeniji? Shaq Calhoun was just waived three weeks ago? They’ve praised Adeniji multiple times this offseason, but putting all their eggs in that basket less than a month into the season is the purest form of desperation, however necessary it may be.
The cupboard is looking very empty at the moment; as are excuses for Taylor and offensive line coach Jim Turner.