Did the Bengals really repair their offensive line?

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CINCINNATI — Our newest PFN coaching camp tour cease is the Queen Metropolis, the place the Cincinnati Bengals consider they’ve unfinished enterprise after falling one rating wanting their first Tremendous Bowl championship simply six months in the past.

“That’s the usual,” stated Bengals defensive deal with D.J. Reader. “We really feel like final yr was our base and we wish to get again there. We really feel like we’ve acquired a extremely, actually good workforce. A extremely good group of fellows round this locker room who actually cares about profitable. They’re going to scratch and claw and do no matter they should win.”

Two necessary issues must occur for the Bengals to even entertain concepts about repeating as AFC champions. Joe Burrow must make a full recovery from final week’s appendectomy (he nonetheless isn’t able to apply). And the workforce’s huge funding in its offensive line must repay.

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Offensive line questions prime Cincinnati Bengals coaching camp observations

The Bengals had their first dwell, tackling-to-the floor work of coaching camp Thursday. It didn’t go tremendous nicely for his or her talent-infused offensive line.

One of many day’s only a few dwell possessions was doomed by a few errors.

On first-and-10, the Bengals didn’t decide up Mike Hilton on a nook blitz, permitting Hilton to drop Joe Mixon for a four-yard loss.

Then on third-and-5, the Bengals had a number of breakdowns, permitting Germaine Pratt and Josh Tupou to converge on fill-in quarterback Brandon Allen.

In equity, this was only a snapshot in time, and the Bengals have 5 and a half weeks to get it collectively earlier than these unfavorable performs begin counting. However definitely Zac Taylor and Duke Tobin would have preferred a greater begin for a bunch on which they spent $21 million assured to repair within the offseason.

New proper deal with La’El Collins has not been on the sector for a single this camp, working by means of a again difficulty that landed him on the non-football harm checklist. Plus new proper guard Alex Cappa is working his means again from a core harm that has restricted his availability. In the meantime, Ted Karras, the third of three huge additions to the offensive line, is wholesome and collaborating absolutely at heart.

All three might want to play nicely to maintain Burrow persistently upright. Burrow went into the offseason with knee accidents after every of his first two NFL seasons on account of a gentle barage of hits he has taken. He was sacked a staggering 70 instances within the Bengals’ 21 video games (together with the postseason) in 2021.

Past these new gamers, the Bengals want Jackson Carman to take a step ahead after a disappointing rookie season. He’s technically in a coaching camp competitors with rookie Cordell Volson, however the presumption is Carman would be the Week 1 left guard. Jonah Williams is again at left deal with, whereas D’Ante Smith acquired work with the begins at proper deal with in Collins’ absence.

Willie Anderson on why the Bengals’ tradition is healthier

Whereas Taylor has loads of critics in these elements for his play calling, nobody ought to doubt that he’s helped repair a tradition that traditionally hasn’t been nice.

Simply ask retired left deal with Willie Anderson, who endured some lean years throughout his 12 years in Cincinnati.

Anderson was again within the constructing Thursday for a go to, and took the chance to handle the workforce that’s gentle years forward when it comes to chemistry.

“The group has put collectively an awesome group of fellows that don’t undergo that. While you’re assembling a workforce, you’re assembling a workforce of personalities, and this workforce’s character appears to be an awesome group of fellows that gel collectively,” Anderson stated. “They shouldn’t fear concerning the issues we went by means of as gamers, as a result of they’re not going by means of it. .. Good issues are going to occur now. They shouldn’t let our previous dictate their future.”

Anderson, who’s going into the Bengals workforce’s Ring of Honor this yr, was a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2022, however fell brief within the remaining spherical of voting.

“I attempt to put that out of thoughts,” Anderson stated of his probabilities to make the subsequent class. “That’s not one thing I can fear about. … I positively am not going to undergo that anxiousness this yr as a result of it’s out of my management. It’s all about these guys within the room, in the event that they select to consider the knowledge they’re getting, I believe in the event that they have a look at it unbiased, and have a look at my stuff, the fellows which were put in earlier than me, I believe it matches up. You simply by no means know. I’m extra excited concerning the Ring of Honor.”

Extra Bengals camp observations

  • With security Jessie Bates III persevering with his coaching camp boycott — he’s but to signal his franchise tag tender, so he’s not topic to the $40,000 a day nice — rookie Dax Hill is proving the Bengals sensible in making him the thirty first decide within the draft. Hill has greater than held his personal with the first-team protection this camp.
  • Past Burrow, Bates and Collins, linebacker Joe Bachie and defensive finish Khalid Kareem didn’t apply Thursday. Cornerback Eli Apple was held out of workforce drills with a minor harm. Allan George labored because the Bengals’ boundary nook with Apple restricted Thursday.
  • Allen appears to be locked in because the Bengals’ QB2, however he hasn’t precisely been stellar with the starters this camp. His uneven play continued Thursday when he threw a near-pick in workforce drills on a cross with no clear supposed goal.
  • The eminently likeable beat writers in Cincinnati raved about how nice extensive receiver Ja’Marr Chase has appeared in camp after dropping a bunch of balls this time final yr. In the meantime, a pair under-the-radar receiver names to observe: rookies Kwamie Lassiter II and Kendric Pryor, who’ve each carried out nicely this camp.

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