Not too long ago, it wasn’t even clear if Billy Price would even make the final roster. Now, the former Ohio State Buckeye could be the starting center on opening day.
Against the Washington Football Team, Price finished with a solid 76.4 pass blocking grade, according to Pro Football Focus. He was part of a starting o-line that held the opposing d-line starters, all first round picks, to zero pressures. That’s a big deal considering the talent on Washington’s defensive line.
There are two major factors to his resurgence: health and coaching. “It seems like he kinda has that confidence back that was kinda lacking at time the last two years as he was going through those injuries,” said Marisa Contipelli, the Bengals’ official team reporter. “And I’m sure it helped a lot finding out that Frank Pollack, the coach that drafted him, was going to be coming back in here to work with him.”
Price’s preseason performances validated the positive showings in training camp. At the very least, he is serviceable, which is significant progress from where he was under previous o-line coach Jim Turner. Price looks to beat out Trey Hill for the backup center job. But he’s been playing so well that there’s a chance he could remain a starter even after Trey Hopkins returns from injury by being moved to guard.
You can listen to the interview with Contipelli on iTunes or using the player below: