Billy Price was a first-round pick for the Bengals back in 2018, but he’s been in and out of the lineup ever since then.
He was drafted as a center, but eventually lost out to Trey Hopkins as the starter.
Price made a few appearances last season, but most of them were at guard. He replaced Xavier Su’a-Filo at right guard after one game, but eventually gave way to Alex Redmond and Quinton Spain.
However, Hopkins tore his ACL in Week 17 against the Ravens, so now the center spot is Price’s to lose. In all probability, Price will enter training camp as the teams’ starting center.
“I have to do the corresponding work. The foundation may be laid, but it’s time to go walk the path now,” Price said on the Bengals Booth Podcast. “It’s time to go and do those things and be the consistent piece and that’s how you attack this going forward.”
Price will also be reunited with Frank Pollack, his first NFL offensive line coach. Pollack originally joined the the Bengals staff a few months prior to Price’s drafting. When Zac Taylor replaced Marvin Lewis, Pollack left for the New York Jets and Jim Turner was hired to replace him. The Bengals then brought Pollack back as the offensive line coach in January after Turner and the club parted ways.
Price has stuck around through all of that, and time is at a premium for him in a Bengals uniform.
“To be the anchor that I was drafted to be and be the person, the consistent piece... It’s to show up day one and be who I was that Frank drafted.”
Price had a PFF grade of 55.6 in his rookie season in 2018, which was the highest of his short career. There’s no doubt Price will need to play at a higher level than usual if he wants to revive his career. Getting a chance to start in 2021 may be the opportunity he needs.