The Bengals’ o-line has looked shockingly good so far in the preseason in pass protection. It’s almost hard to believe these are, for the most part, the same players.
Through two exhibition games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Washington Football Team, Cincinnati has five offensive linemen with a Pro Football Focus grade of 64.8 or higher.
More important for Bengals fans, who want to see quarterback Joe Burrow survive the season, five of the most important linemen have a pass blocking grade of 76.7 or higher. Those players are: Jonah Williams (81.8), Michael Jordan (85.5), D’Ante Smith (84.8), Riley Reiff (76.7), and Xavier Su’a-Filo (78.0).
The key, according to players, is Frank Pollack. Bengals team reporter Marisa Contipelli joined our show to talk about the first two exhibition games, including the vastly-improved offensive line. You can watch below:
Contipelli had this to say about Pollack:
“Every guy we’ve talked to so far this camp has said that Frank Pollack has increased their game, has upped their game. They’ve all just absolutely loved working with him. And he’s really just getting the most out of these guys. He’s a former player who knows what he wants out of his players, and you’ve seen it these first two games.”
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I personally observed Pollack during my first visit to Paul Brown Stadium. It was an open practice, a family day. It just so happened I sat right behind Pollack and the linemen, who were not involved in the 7-on-7 drills.
But that didn’t stop the coach from making the most of their time. He was red in the face, shouting, directing, and locked in. And you could see the reactions from players who were motivated and relieved to finally be learning from a guy who knows what he’s talking about.
Don't know what he's saying, but Frank Pollack has been red in the face the entire hour or so I've been watching him. O line about to take a huge step forward pic.twitter.com/umbsKVUa2f— Dadio Makdook (@dadiodefacto) July 31, 2021
Contipelli told us that she’s been seeing that sort of intensity every day in practice. “He is so high energy that I get fired up,” she said. “I’m ready to go through a brick wall at practice because of how he commands the line.”
You can listen to the entire interview on iTunes or using the player below:
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