The Cincinnati Bengals watched Joe Burrow get sacked more times than any other quarterback in the NFL. It was a painful sight as the postseason was just as brutal as the regular season.
In his second year coming off a season-ending injury, that was unacceptable, and everyone in the Queen City knew it, as did owner Mike Brown and director of player personnel Duke Tobin.
Changes were made with the Bengals signing three opening day starters and then drafting another one. Jonah Williams will the only offensive lineman to have been retained from last season’s starting five.
Cincinnati added Alex Cappa from Tampa Bay and Ted Karras from New England, two high-class organizations that are known for their skilled offensive lineman.
On top of bringing those two, the Bengals also signed La’el Collins, their starting right tackle, and drafted North Dakota State’s Cordell Volson, the team’s starting left guard who took over from former second-rounder Jackson Carman, who was the projected starter entering camp.
Offensive coordinator Brian Callahan was able to sit down with Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson and talk about what Collins and Volson have brought to the roster.
“That’s always been his M.O. Tough. Physical. Always finishes everything. Finishes everyone. That’s sort of what makes him who he is,” Callahan said on Collins. The praise for the signee from Dallas didn’t stop there.
“That’s a good thing. We need that on our team, on our offense up front. Those other guys are like that, too. Ted’s like that. (Right guard Alex) Cappa’s like that. Those guys we brought in have that mentality. Where they’re always taking it to the edge a little bit,” he continued with.
Collins, Cappa, and Karras are expected to be studs. They’re getting paid like studs. However, the rising star on this unit and the one that could change the outcome of several games is Volson, who Callahan also praised.
“Don’t sleep on that aw-shucks thing he’s got going. He looks to finish people all the time. So I think that’s a good mix and to finally get those guys coming together, it’s fun to watch,” Callahan said.
In terms of the unit as a whole, Callahan also praised the group. He said that “this is the edgiest group we’ve had.” Let’s just say that, in a division with T.J. Watt and Myles Garrett, the Bengals are going to need that edge.