Training Camp Biggest Story
Cincinnati Bengals fans have without a doubt been swept up with the Bates franchise tag drama this offseason. I won’t hammer it home like the rest of media, but with how much the Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo loves to deploy three-safety set Bates presences is key to the formation. With the newly addition of first round pick Dax Hill who is a swiss army knife of a draft prospect in the secondary to pair along Vonn Bell would give the Bengals a chance to ease the rookie in by playing to his strength. Obviously if Jessie Bates III stands by his word and doesn’t play on the tag this throws a wrench in the plan and Hill would be relied on heavy from week one.
Did the Front Office do Enough this Off Season?
Cincinnati might be in possession of their best offensive line in years maybe even decades. With key additions of La’el Collins, Alex Cappa, and Ted Karras the Bengals are unfortunately already realizing this line is one injury a way from looking closely to the line who took the field for the Super Bowl. With Collins and Cappa both starting training camp expected to miss some preseason snaps, the Bengals will get to test the depth early. With much news suggestion a reunion with Riley Reiff and Quinton Spain to compete for the left guard spot and or back up roles if Jackson Carmen does win the left guard job.
With the Bengals coming off a Super Bowl appearance it didn’t make sense they didn’t at least resign Spain by now especially if your best answer is a guy who couldn’t win the position last year. Yes, his Super Bowl ended with a Donald sack on 4th down, but the left side of this line was without a doubt their strongest part of the unit. Riley Reiff would of been tremendous as a depth swing tackle piece but recently signed with the Bears. Leaving them to once again rely on Isaiah Prince and D’Ante Smith. If the offensive line starts losing pieces during the season the front office will be quick to take heat for not bringing in enough depth despite the caliber of starters seeing as fans got more than enough tape of the backups.
Rookies to Watch
Daxton Hill- It’s not saying much to predict a first-round pick to have a good season. Unless the guy ahead of you on the depth chart has been in the headlines for the failure to reach a long-term deal could lead to uncertainty about usage in year one. I am telling you the only thing Jessie Bates III effects in this situation is how soon the Bengals will have to rely on Dax playing starter minutes. With him being drafted as the security to the Bates situation his versatility gave him a chance to also lend security to the cornerback depth room. With Lou’s love for three safety sets and Hills ability to play the corner and slot, this defensive mastermind could put together a rookie showcase with Hill that leads to defensive rookie of the year love.
Cam Taylor-Britt- Actions speak louder than words when it comes to this second-round pick. The Cincinnati Bengles is not known for using draft capital to move up with that being said when it happens it easy to draw more eyes. Taylor-Britt comes into camp being poised to compete with Eli Apple for the starting corner across from Awuzie. It goes without saying the best man will win the job, but I can see this being a battle that leads to the best man walking away better.
Zachary Carter- I know it seems like I am running down the list of draft picks but as of guys I believe who can carve out a big role in training camp the road ends here for draft picks. With the loss of Larry Ogunjobi at the 3 tech the Bengals could call on Carter early in the season. As of right now the Bengals brings back most of its defensive line depth but there is yet a proven starter. I see one of his biggest competitions for snaps is second year Cam Sample who was called on for meaningful snaps late in the season. With talks of Sam Hubbard possible seeing some snaps inside if Joseph Ossai can start where he left off with a strong first preseason game before leaving injured.