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Cincinnati Bengals

First Depth Chart of the Season

Jeffery Carr

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© Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The preseason is over and the depth chart is set. Let’s take a look at a few of the finer points of your Cincinnati Bengals pecking order. Check out the full depth chart at ourlads.com. James spoke with Geoff Hobson of Bengals.comabout a few of these positions, including Alex Redmond winning the starting right guard spot, but let’s take a look at a few more.

Pos No Player 1 No Player 2
LG 65 Boling, Clint 11/4 63 Westerman, Christian 16/5

Christian Westerman: The odds-on social media favorite to land the right guard starting sport will, instead, back up Clint Boling. Pro Football Focus continually graded Westerman’s performances highly, leading to an A. J. McCarron-esque clamoring. All armchair general managers in the 513 had all but purchased their No. 63 jerseys, only to find they’re hero riding the pine pony for week one.

For those of you lighting your torches and dusting off your pitchforks, settle down for a second. The right side of this line may be fluid for the first few weeks. Sure, Redmond and Hart are penciled in, but pencils have erasers, and those two should not get comfy. Redmond has shown flashes in the run game, which is where he earned the spot, but he has a lot of room for improvement. Westerman will have his chance in 2018.

LDE 96 Dunlap, Carlos 10/2 94 Hubbard, Sam 18/3
NT 99 Billings, Andrew 16/4 68 Tupou, Josh CF17
RDT 97 ATKINS, GENO 10/4 98 Glasgow, Ryan 17/4
RDE 90 JOHNSON, MICHAEL CC/TB 75 Willis, Jordan 17/3 58 Lawson, Carl 17/4

The Defensive Line: The unquestioned strength of the Bengals, people will quickly point out Carl Lawson and Jordan Willis being labeled as anything other than “Player 1.” This should not worry you. Some may have thought the cutting of Michael Johnson would lead to more playing time for Willis and Lawson, but it was actually one of the slickest front office moves I’ve seen the Bengals do in a long time. However, his not-departure does not spell irrelevancy for the young guns behind him.

The preseason showed that Marvin Lewis and Teryl Austin are going to mix-and-match this defensive line group in more ways than would be reasonable to sit down and count. I remember seeing more than a few plays ran by what I like to call the “death lineup” of, in no particular arrangement, Lawson, Willis, Geno Atkins, and Carlos Dunlap. They ran it against the Bills, a bunch, which gave all those wearing red and blue nightmares. Also factor in that Lawson could play a sort of rushing linebacker in some base formations, with Andrew Billings sliding into the interior. Then you have five really good rushers going up against five reasonably frightened offensive linemen. I can’t wait to watch this group work!

RWR 83 Boyd, Tyler 16/2 15 Ross, John 17/1 12 Erickson, Alex CF16

Tyler Boyd: This isn’t an original thought, here, but watching him work during the preseason evoked images of T. J. Housmanzadeh, so I am not surprised by him being listed as the No.2 guy. Now, I do not think the Bengals run a lot of two wide receiver sets this year, and will have John Ross on the field, more times than not, so I do not see this as an indictment on him. Look for Boyd’s name to be called on a lot of 3rd-and-fives, 3rd-and-sixes.

RB 28 Mixon, Joe 17/2 25 Bernard, Giovani 13/2 32 Walton, Mark 18/4 33 Carson, Tra CF16

Mark Walton: This thought is ranging toward the area of insignificant, but I feel it bears mentioning. He was outplayed in the preseason by Brian Hill, yet Hill no longer remains with Cincinnati. Some of those aforementioned armchair general managers were surprised, at least on social media, that he made the team. The key is, he’s got talent. Fantasy football is by no means a good evaluator of real-life football, in the sense that it should not determine how a real-life franchise runs their roster, but there were national pundits lauding Walton as a sleeper in dynasty formats. He’s got that athleticism that coaches are looking for in the spread-offense running back, and deserves more than a handful of meaningless preseason snaps to prove it.

Also, shout out to Clark Harris for another year in stripes, snapping the pigskin.

Keep your eye on @lockedonBengals and @JamesRapien on Twitter and check out @jefffcarr, now, for your daily Bengals content.

Jeff has spent his entire life around sports. From playing baseball and golf in high school to traveling with college softball, volleyball, and men’s basketball teams as their media relations guy, sports have been at the center of his mind. Just as comfortable talking spread offenses as he is talking Sabermetrics, get ready for simplistic views of complicated sports jargon. The Queen City is his home and he is excited to write about the Reds and the Bengals.

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Cincinnati Bengals

Three-Wide Set, All My Bengals

Jeffery Carr

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© David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

There was a soap opera that was on television, when I was a kid, that I would see when I stayed home sick from school. Figured the title fits what has happened with the Bengals the last few days, so I tweaked it for this week’s three-wide set, what’d you think?

  1. Teryl Austin out, Marvin Lewis in…again.So the most obvious move, ever, happened Monday with the separation of the Bengals and their defunct defensive director. Austin seemed like a good guy, and all, but his defense was horrendous. In case you’ve lived under a rock and are just now delving into the Bengals 2018 season, they are last in all the NFL in yards allowed. Somehow, they are not last, but second to last in points allowed. In fact, as Jay Morrison remarked on Twitter, the Bengals are 11th in points scored this season, but 28th in point differential. That’s how bad this defense has been. One more oh wow moment with bad defense is I am pretty sure, without looking, that the last two Bengals opponents haven’t punted. (Checks stats) Ok, they forced two punts in the Buccaneers game. That being said, opposing offenses had converted over 50% of their third down attempts against the Cincinnati defense. That’s not great. Oh, and one more, one more, oh wow moment: the Bengals became the first team in NFL history to allow 500+ yards in three-straight games…okay, I am done.
    Enter Marvin to “fix” the defense. Not sure it can be done, at this point, but to be real, it can’t get worse. Like, when you’re last, you can’t be more last. Just like if you’re dead, you can’t die again. Yet, somehow, with the worst defense in the league, the Bengals are not dead.  Lewis can schematically fix the defense (which doesn’t help the tackling) and may be able to up the ante on the pass rush, as this defense has been the most passive I’ve seen since Marvin came aboard, but will it be enough? If they pull out a win this Sunday in Baltimore, it will put them in a nice spot for the 2nd wild card spot, if they don’t get it together and lose to Baltimore then the three-wide set might start looking at three draft prospects for the Bengals, each week.
  1. Hue Jackson is back, again again. Welcome back home Mike Brown’s favorite son not named Marvin. The prodigal son returns as he, once again, tried to take his inheritance and go off to another team to make a name for himself, only to find himself, yet again, an assistant on the Bengals coaching staff. This time it’s very Dwight Schrute-esque as he is the “Special Assistant to the Head Coach.” Read that, “assistant to the head coach,” not “assistant head coach.” Here’s hoping Bill Lazor puts his stapler in jello.
    I really do not know how to feel. The “in the moment” side of me likes it for the simple fact he can provide inside info on the Browns, who the Bengals haven’t played, and he might be able to help out a now double-duty Marvin. But the “big picture” side of me hates this. Now it gives a reason for Mike Brown to let go of Marvin Lewis, after his contract expires, and seamlessly transition to another coach he likes. Brown now doesn’t have to go through the necessary, desperately needed painful process of interviewing new coaches who could possibly provide fresh-thinking to a team that desperately needs it. Instead he can hand over the keys to the coach’s office, without any hullabaloo, to a man who does not deserve it (objectively) but, rather, is someone who Mike Brown sees as a son. Ugh…
  1. John Ross scored! That’s right, much congratulations to the man who has endured a lot of criticism, a lot of vitriol, a lot of unnecessary hate…I am talking, of course, about our fearless podcast host, James Rapien. I thought Ross looked good, I thought Andy was bad. JR15 was getting separation, making some guys miss on their coverage…and the ball fell short. Dalton underthrew him. What was the joke when Ross was drafted? “Great, now we can have the fastest dude in the NFL for Andy to still overthrow.” Well, he wasn’t overthrown, he was underthrown. Seriously, there was a tweet, can’t remember who (probably Joe Goodberry), that showed all of John Ross’ targets. The ones he didn’t catch, were bad throws. Plain and simple. Those who criticize Ross are not looking at the whole picture. I think he gets better and I think Andy can build a rapport with him, maybe even this week at Baltimore. Point is, fans and haters, John Ross is going to be just fine.

This is the biggest game of the year, this Sunday, at M&T Bank stadium. Last year, the Bengals knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs there. Will the Ravens get revenge? Or will the Bengals continue their recent dominance over the Ravens (eight wins in the last 10 games)? Stay tuned!

Follow @jefffcarr and @lockedonBengals for more Cincinnati professional football content

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Cincinnati Bengals

Reacting to Austin’s firing and our film review with Joe Goodberry

James Rapien

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I discuss the Bengals firing defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, Marvin Lewis taking over for him, plus Joe Goodberry joins me for our weekly film review. We talk about the Bengals’ 51-14 loss to the Saints, what can be fixed on defense, their issues on offense and more. Listen and subscribe to the podcast below.

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Cincinnati Bengals

The Saints march all over the Bengals 51-14

James Rapien

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The Saints dismantled the Bengals 51-14 on Sunday afternoon. Cincinnati falls to 5-4 and continues to struggle following a 4-1 start to the season. I recapped them game, discussed the defensive struggles, plus hear from Drew Brees, John Ross and I respond to your voicemails on a postgame edition of the Locked on Bengals podcast. Listen and subscribe below.

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