One of the major goals for the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason was to sign a couple of its core players long-term. Retaining defensive lineman Sam Hubbard was high on the priority list and the team got an extension done with him earlier this summer.
We recently had the pleasure of catching up with the newly-designated team captain to talk about his new contract, the state of the team, his team-up with Pepsi and much more.
In the middle of our chat, we asked specifically asked Hubbard about the two new position coaches added to the staff earlier this year—Marion Hobby overseeing his defensive line group and Frank Pollack reuniting with the team to improve the offensive line.
“His (Hobby’s) resume throughout the league, I’ve talked to guys—he obviously had D.J. Reader at Clemson—and I asked him, he said he’s going to coach us hard and get us right, though,” Hubbard said of his new position coach. “Ever since I met him, he’s elevated each of our games and got us playing as a unit at a very high level, very quickly.”
This has shown through the preseason, as the defensive line was very active and regularly generated pressure in its three games. Though some exciting players have since been placed on Injured Reserve (Joseph Ossai, Wyatt Hubert and Khalid Kareem, respectively), this unit looks to be improved in 2021. It’s also
“And, every day, I learn something from coach Hobby, but even the veterans, guys like myself who have been here a long time, we get coached exactly the same as the rookies coming in, so there’s a standard that’s held in the room,” Hubbard continued about Hobby. “I really love the way he coaches and what he demands out of us and it’s really getting the best out of each of us.”
One of the things that drew Cincinnati’s staff to Hobby was the Dolphins massive defensive performance against the Bengals last season. In that game, Miami sacked the quarterback six times en route to a 19-7 victory.
Additionally, Hubbard sees a difference with the Bengals’ offensive line after going up against them daily this offseason. He credits Pollack for that transformation, too.
“There’s been a significant amount of progress, and you know, it starts off with coach Pollack,” Hubbard said. “I obviously had him around my rookie year (2018) and he’s a very demanding coach. A guy like Riley Reiff gets out there probably 30 minutes before the whole team gets out there, the O-Line as a unit is out there 20 minutes before practice going through little techniques. They, as a unit are out there 20 minutes after practice every day.”
Hubbard did also note how the line was a work in progress early in camp because of the rotations and seeing what the unit had in its players. Hubbard said the increased confidence is palpable on the offensive line and credits both Pollack and veterans like Reiff and Xavier Su’a-Filo for that.
Also on the interview:
- Hubbard talks about how the contract negotiations ramped up and the timeline of the talks.
- He spoke about the “give-and-take” in training camp practices, in terms of units having better days than others and if/how they keep track of that as uber-competitive players.
- What he expects out of the 2021 Bengals team and of himself.
- And more!
Sam Hubbard joined us courtesy of Pepsi and its “Made for Bengals Watching Initiative”. Through a new AR recipe experience exclusively on MadeforBengalsWatching.com, viewers can bring the content to life and get Hubbard’s help in creating Pepsi BBQ sauce and other delicious recipes featured in the comfort of their home – or at least, that’s what it will feel like.
By scanning the QR code on specially marked Bengals Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Zero Sugar products in 20oz. and 12oz. cans in 12pk/15pk/24pk/36pk, or Pepsi and Diet Pepsi in 15pk minis through Oct. 16, fans can win prizes ranging from signed Bengals gear and tickets to regular season home games to their very own chance at a VIP experience on-field at a home game at Paul Brown Stadium.
Fans who want to complete their game day meals by ordering in from their favorite local Pepsi pour restaurants on DoorDash during select Thursday night football games (9/30, 10/14, 11/4 and 12/9) will receive a $3 value when they add a Pepsi to their DoorDash order ($15 minimum).
The fan-made portal is part of Pepsi’s larger “Made for Football Watching” campaign celebrating loyal football watchers and their personal game day rituals. For a chance to join the fun and for official sweepstakes rules, fans should head to Pepsi’s official Bengals fan-portal MadeforBengalsWatching.com.
Our thanks to Sam Hubbard and Pepsi for the chat. We hope you enjoy it!
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