As the Bengals prepare to take on the New York Giants in their second preseason game, fans are most excited about one position: left guard.
Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson recently wrote that fourth-round pick Cordell Volson is tasked with “play[ing] well enough with incumbent Jackson Carman sidelined with COVID to move up a north or two in the left guard competition.”
Just a few days earlier, Hobson came on our show to share his thoughts on the preseason hype around the rookie out of North Dakota State and the left guard battle overall. “I think it’s a competition,” he said. “But I don’t think Volson has won it or is even ahead.”
Fans, of course, were excited to see Volson show some physicality in the team’s preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals. But Hobson knows there’s a lot more that goes into deciding who starts.
“I talked to Zac Taylor coming off the field [after the loss to the Cardinals], and he said, ‘People shouldn’t make more of this than it is,’ “ Hobson said.
Much of the hype around Volson has to do with the rave reviews he’s received from players as well.
Bengals RT La’el Collins, who said today was a big step in his ramp up process, called rookie LG Cordell Volson “one of the best rookies I’ve been around.”— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) August 19, 2022
He praised Volson’s toughness, physicality, coachability and willingness to learn.
Meanwhile, many are ready to move on from Carman on account of what the evaluations they’ve heard.
Pro personnel scout was not kind re: Carman just yesterday morning.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) August 17, 2022
But Hobson tells us that we should slow down and recognize what Carman has had to overcome. When asked if he sees any sort of favoritism toward Carman because he was drafted in the second round, Hobson said:
“I don’t see any favoritism. I see kind of the opposite. I think people are crushing Carman because he was a second round pick, and they want him to be Max Montoya. I think he had a couple bad plays [against Cardinals], but he’s practiced better than he’s played. I just don’t think people give him a break. He came in last year, switched positions, he switched sides, and he was coming off back surgery. I thought he played pretty good in the AFC Championship game in the 30 plays in which he played.”
You can listen to the entire interview on iTunes or using the player below: