Next to their new Ring of Honor, the Cincinnati Bengals’ worst-kept secret is their plans to add to their offensive line. Personnel changes are inevitable at that position group.
Jonah Williams may not have to worry about any of that, though.
In an interview with Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said a transition inside to one of the guard spots would not be ideal for the young left tackle.
“Jonah played only a handful of games at left tackle and played well,” Callahan said. “I see Jonah as a young, ascending tackle and to move him at this point off the tackle spot would probably be a disservice to him. That’s not to say that’s not possible or could never happen, but I just think he’s done some really good things as a tackle so far. To move him off of that in this point in his career would be a disservice to him.”
While Williams has the athleticism and intellect to play just about any position along the o-line, Callahan is right to believe this. Every position up front requires different technique and footwork. It may not seem like a big deal when watching, but it’s a mental and physical adjustment for any player.
Williams, a former first-round pick from the 2019 NFL draft, has just one-year of playing experience in the NFL. A shoulder injury wiped out his entire rookie season long before it began, and the now 23-year old missed a total of six games this past season due to a stinger and knee injury. The latter caused his 2020 season to end a month early, but Williams was seen working out without any noticeable limitations just a few days ago.
This is really only a conversation because we don’t know how much the Bengals’ o-line will change this offseason. Rumors indicate that right guard and right tackle will be where those changes occur. If that’s the plan, then Williams moving spots shouldn’t even be a discussion. But plans can change based off what actually happens in free agency, and the Bengals could be in a position where it might be in their best interest to get two new tackles instead of a guard and a tackle.
Callahan made sure not to rule it out completely, but you get the sense that Williams will stay on the edge. Now it’s just a matter of which tackle spot he’ll play.