The Cincinnati Bengals made a tremendous error this offseason. The team is cheap, that is known across the NFL. The Bengals do not sign free agents and are known for letting their bigger name commodities go. They would rather be out on a player a year too early than a year too late. They plan ahead, and draft to replace these players in advance. Over the past half decade or so, it has worked out in their favor. However, a few draft misses turns this from a savvy move to a desperate one very quickly. This season, the desperation is starting to show.
The Bengals knew they had big names on the offensive line. They also knew these players were about to get paid. Andrew Whitworth is 35 years old. He is in the first season of a deal that will keep him on the Los Angeles Rams until he is 38 years old. The “savvy” Bengals did not want any parts of that and drafted Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher early into the 2015 NFL draft to assure that there would be no issues at left tackle in the future. The problem with that plan? Neither has panned out, while Whitworth has been a revelation with the Rams.
Fisher is currently injured but has been a bust to this point. It led to the Bengals re-signing Andre Smith, the injury-prone right tackle, who the Bengals thought Fisher was going to replace last season.
Ogbuehi has been able to stay on the field, but it is arguable as to whether or not that is a good thing. Thanks to both tackle positions being an issue, 14 of the Bengals 28 sacks allowed this season have come from missed assignments on the edge. 7.5 sacks allowed can be credited to Ogbuehi. Ogbuehi leads the team in sacks allowed, with Fisher being in second, giving up 4.5 so far this year.
The scary part? There is not just one aspect in which Ogbuehi is struggling in. He is just straight up playing poor football.
Brian Orakpo blows by the left tackle with pure speed and a dip.
Calais Campbell uses a pronounced swim move, but again the speed and athleticism gets him around the bend quickly and destroys Ogbuehi.
It is footwork and technique that gives Malik Jackson an easy win. Watch how Jackson works him in and out, getting Ogbuehi off balance before finishing with a push featuring great leverage. Ogbuehi allows Jackson to get him off balance, and out of position, giving him no chance.
Terrell Suggs shows again the poor technique that Ogbuehi features. Watch his hands. He hesitates to get them up at first. By the time he tries to engage with Suggs, Suggs has his hands under the shoulder pads of Ogbuehi and is pushing him backward. Suggs got him twice in this game with very similar technique issues.
Myles Garrett gets him in the same way. Garrett resembles a bully pushing Ogbeuhi up against his locker before taking his lunch money with this sack. It is easy to see that the rookie is the much stronger man in this competition.
Speed, technique, power, athleticism, it does not matter how you do it. Exposing Cedric Ogbuehi is very much in the cards. The Pittsburgh Steelers attacked him a bit in their first meeting. They used a stunt of T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward to expose the lack of fluidity in communication between Ogbuehi and left guard Clint Boling. Ogbuehi essentially helps push Watt into his guard.
With even more tape out there exposing the left side of this offensive line, this should be a place that the Steelers visit with relentless pressure. T.J. Watt has been dropping back in coverage much more recently. However, this is a good chance to fire him back up in the pass rush and get after Andy Dalton.