The offensive line has been the Cincinnati Bengals’ biggest talking point throughout the offseason.
After losing rookie quarterback Joe Burrow to injury last year, it stands to reason that fans and analysts alike would be concerned about his health and longevity.
In this podcast, I discuss the state of the Bengals offensive line heading into the 2021 season.
Many in the media were critical of the Bengals for not selecting an offensive tackle in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft, but was that fair? I don’t think so.
The team has been criticized for not getting Joe Burrow some pass protection help, but that isn’t accurate either. The Bengals addressed the right tackle position by signing Riley Reiff in free agency and have a young, talented left tackle already in the building. They drafted a guard in Round 2, which could actually lead to improvement at both guard spots since it will allow Xavier Su’a-Filo and Quinton Spain to play on the left side, where each is more comfortable.
There is also the coaching change, which could pay huge dividends. This could lead not only to improvement at the weaker positions, but from their best player, Jonah Williams, who is still developing but seemed to plateau under Jim Turner.
Of course, skill development and scheme are big parts of coaching, but that is not all there is to it. What does one game from last year tell us about the potential impact of this coaching change?
The Browns offensive line showed huge improvement between 2019 and 2020, how does what the Bengals have done compare to that? Could we see a similar upswing in the performance of the Bengals’ blockers?