There’s pleasure for the primary time in a very long time heading into Paul Brown Stadium. The Cincinnati Bengals are wanting refreshed for the primary time in over a decade, with a brand new coach, new quarterback, new system, and hopefully new outcomes. Nonetheless, there’s additionally some concern brewing with regard to John Ross doubtlessly getting into his last season in 2020.
With the addition of the primary general decide Joe Burrow within the combine, the offense must be trying to take that subsequent leap. To not point out, A.J. Inexperienced is returning to the roster significantly wholesome in 2020. The Bengals ready for any regression, including Clemson standout Tee Higgins within the second spherical. And with a wholesome Jonah Williams now again within the fold, might this be sufficient to rework Cincinnati right into a contender?
As we launch the beginning of our Bengals vertical, we introduce the “Bengal bag”, our personal model of the mailbag. This week, we reply among the burning questions surrounding Cincinnati heading into camp. If you need to have your query featured in our subsequent mailbag, message us at @PFN365, @MrColeThompson, or @CrissyFroyd.
Might John Ross’ last season with the Bengals be in 2020?
As a lot because the Bengals may not be prepared to tug the set off on the previous prime 10 decide, Ross’ inconsistencies on the sphere definitely haven’t helped his trigger. After the workforce declined to select up his fifth-year possibility, a down 12 months might damage Ross’ general inventory free of charge company in 2021.
Ross was drafted largely as a consequence of his blazing velocity that helped the Bengals add a vertical risk on the receiver place. Who might overlook how the previous Husky torched his option to the highest of the NFL document record together with his 4.28 40 yard sprint on the NFL mix. It’s simple to overlook, as that has been the spotlight of the 24-year-old’s soccer profession.
Maybe what didn’t work with former Bengals QB Andy Dalton will work with Burrow. Based on Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the 2 have labored out collectively a number of occasions because the Heisman winner’s choice in April. Very similar to Ross, Burrow’s expectations are simply as excessive after placing up video game-like numbers throughout his last season with LSU.
Ross’ largest concern coming into 2020 is his lack of ability to stay wholesome. In three seasons, the Bengals speedster has missed 24 video games, equally the variety of video games he’s performed in. Regardless of tallying seven touchdowns in 2018, most of his scoring got here within the red-zone slightly than as a deep risk. And in head coach Zac Taylor’s pass-favoring offense, that’s what Ross’ velocity ought to permit him to do.
With the addition of Higgins, there’s not a cause to push for Ross if he continues to battle. The Clemson star will possible take over Inexperienced’s function following this season, however including one other weapon to the place room is essential. Finally, Ross might want to play the pure “Z” place and play it properly if he desires to stay a thought in “The Jungle” after 2020.
Which Bengals rookie are you most excited to see at coaching camp?
Logan Wilson is the one Bengals rookie exterior of Burrow that I’m essentially the most enthusiastic about seeing at coaching camp.
For any Bengals fan who has been begging for the workforce to draft a linebacker, they may not have discovered a greater mid-round gem. After formally signing his four-year contract, Bengals followers ought to count on Logan to change into a preferred boy’s title across the Queen Metropolis.
Wilson began all 52 attainable video games throughout his profession at Wyoming, totaling 421 tackles, together with 35 for losses and 7 sacks. In protection, Wilson collected 17 cross breakups, 10 INTs (two pick-sixes), 4 compelled fumbles, and 4 fumble recoveries (two returned for TDs).
As a plug and play defender, count on Wilson to take over because the workforce’s MIKE backer. One of many extra fluid linebackers from the draft class, the previous cornerback will shine in protection out of the backfield. Towards the run, there are few defenders who could make preliminary contact like Wilson.
What ought to the expectations be for AJ Inexperienced’s return?
For now, I might say the expectations for Inexperienced must be minimal. When wholesome, Inexperienced remains to be possible thought-about a top-20 wideout within the NFL. The issue with Inexperienced is that he’s just about missed the previous two seasons with lingering issues. Now over the age of 30, this could possibly be a prove-it 12 months for the famous person who believes he nonetheless might play one other 4 or 5 seasons.
Take into account ankle accidents might take longer to beat. The truth is, Inexperienced said in an interview earlier this 12 months that he didn’t really feel snug returning to the sphere final season with the considerations on it, thus resulting in him lacking the 2019 marketing campaign. So perhaps. that could possibly be a blessing that finally doesn’t result in any setbacks by No.18 in 2020.
Inexperienced’s legacy because the Bengals’ prime receiver is sort of cemented. He’s 1,876 yards and three touchdowns away from beating Chad Johnson’s all-time document as the brand new No.1. A wholesome season might seem like roughly 700 yards and doubtlessly 5 touchdowns. A down 12 months could be extra within the 400 yards receiving vary or much less.
Is the signing of Brandon Allen a optimistic one?
I’d say that the signing of Allen is optimistic for the Bengals. Allen may not be a famous person or perhaps a high-end backup, however he has enjoying expertise and a veteran presence within the locker room. Final season, the previous Razorback was given the possibility to play because the Denver Broncos’ starter, going 1-2 and throwing for 515 yards, together with three touchdowns.
The rationale I like this signing is because of his familiarity with Taylor. Allen spent two seasons working with Taylor within the quarterback’s room whereas the 2 had been in Los Angeles beneath Rams head coach Sean McVay. At 27, Allen can change into a mentor for Burrow, serving to the previous SEC standout be taught the ins and outs of the offense on a extra private degree. God forbid a midseason harm had been to happen, the Bengals wouldn’t have to vary a lot of the offensive gameplan.
Total, there’s not a draw back right here, for now no less than.
Which Bengals participant is most in want of a rebound 12 months?
William Jackson III goes to be my decide getting into the primary week of camp. Two years in the past, it appeared like he was the subsequent rising star at cornerback within the NFL after tallying 27 cross deflections and an interception in his first two seasons. Then in 2019, Jackson noticed a career-low in deflections and missed two video games with a shoulder harm.
With the low season additions of Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander, the Bengals secondary has a contemporary increase that might rebound in 2020. Nonetheless, the eye must be on Jackson, who has all the abilities to be a No.1 shutdown nook within the league. With a bounce-back season, the previous Cougar could possibly be pouncing on a profitable deal to maintain him in Cincinnati.
Have been there any Bengals gamers lacking from the NFL Prime 100?
Effectively, because the workforce was considered one of six with out a participant represented, completely. For now, Boyd, Joe Mixon, and D.J. Reader ought to have been thought-about after breakout years. Taking on because the No.1 possibility, Boyd was constant for the worst franchise within the league, tallying his second 1,000-yard season and a career-high 90 catches.
Mixon performs the operating again place, which has change into devalued however was nonetheless important to the Bengals’ offensive assault. The third-year starter completed with over 1,400 all-purpose yards to associate with eight complete touchdowns. Averaging 4.1 yards per carry, Mixon was a risk to interrupt free at any second and was important within the cross blocking on third down.
Reader, who signed with the workforce this offseason, produced his finest season in Houston beneath Invoice O’Brien. Ending with a career-best in tackles (52) and quarterback hits (13), the previous Texans’ defensive lineman proved he could be productive in opposition to the cross as a lot as he’s shined in opposition to the run.
Of the three, Boyd ought to have no less than completed someplace within the excessive 80s. Then once more, when Kevin Byard and Justin Simmons aren’t on the record, can you actually say it’s correct?
Cole Thompson is a normal NFL author for Professional Soccer Community. Thompson additionally covers the Cincinnati Bengals for PFN’s Bengals’ vertical. Comply with him on Twitter at @MrColeThompson and @PFN365 for all updated NFL content material.