As all Bengals fans know, the one massive dent in the Cincinnati Bengals’ armor was, and I use that in the past tense, is the Offensive line being Ownership promised Mike Brown included that protection for Joe Burrow would be a top priority in the offseason which was addressed via Free Agency.
The Bengals New Additions
Cincinnati addressed their primary deficiency by signing three key Free agents to fix the Offensive line inefficiency issues. Alex Cappa was a vast pick-up at Guard, being he once played with a broken leg and fits the mantra Offensive line coach Frank Pollack calls “Glass Eaters.” Also, keep in mind it weakens Tom Brady’s protection.
Cappa is a former Buccaneer and teammate of Tom Brady. In week 15, that could play a role when the Bengals have to travel down to Tampa Bay for a Quarterback showdown against one of the greatest of all time in Tom Terrific as Colonel Joseph Lee Burrow leads his troops into Raymond James Stadium prepared for intergalactic battle in a gunslingers duel of Elite Football minds for the ages which some believe could be a preview for Super Bowl 57.
Ted Karras was a solid signing by the Bengals in Free Agency from the Patriots, a guy who can play multiple positions along the offensive line in Guard and Center, respectively. An upgrade over former Center Trey Hopkins did not recover fully and was rushed back from a knee injury last season.
The signing that had taken the line to the next level better than any Offensive linemen the Bengals had on the roster is La’el Collins, a massive-sized man. Joe Burrow helped close the signing, which took a weekend in which all Cincinnati fans were on “Collins Watch’ during La’el’s Free Agency visit that Bengals fans, myself included, pleaded with Bengals brass not to let Mr. Collins leave Cincinnati without signing a deal. ‘Collins watch” took us from Kenwood Mall to restaurant’s as Bengals fans anticipated and encouraged Collins to sign with the Bengals during the month of March.
So the Bengals upgraded three of the 5 Offensive line positions in Free agency, respectively, with Alex Cappa, Ted Karas, and La’el Collins. But this is the time for the front office to be aggressive and put your Bengals over the Championship hump!
Why Depth Is Key
Depth is critical in a contact sport being when one man goes down, you need a quality backup to fill the position. Left Tackle Jonah Williams just had his first full season without injury in three seasons. Left Guard is still a question mark, Jackson Carman and even D’Ante Smith are options to use as backups, but I am not sure, even with Carman being a second-round draft pick being ready to be a starter. That is where you bring back an experienced veteran like Riley Reiff that you know, and who played last season in Cincinnati as an insurance policy in case Jonah Williams or La’el Collins gets injured.
Or even possibly let Reiff compete for one of the Guard positions to fortify the Bengals’ starting offensive line. While Veteran experience in the most important area on the Football field, in the trenches on the offensive line protecting Joe Burrow and opening holes for Joe “Tricky” Mixon. The deeper the offensive line depth, the better. Mixon could be bound for a monster season after coming off his best statistical year last season with a much improved offensive line in front of him.