CINCINNATI -- With just two questions, we're going to keep it rather brief on this Sunday installment of the Cincinnati Bengals mailbag.
So, without further ado, let's get to Part 2:
@ColeyHarvey can either Cedric Ogbuehi or Jake fisher play LT? If so in the future who has the better chance?- Greg Luther (@greger09) July 9, 2015
@ColeyHarvey. Yes, both can and will play left tackle at some point in their NFL careers. Cedric Ogbuehi actually was a star at the position at Texas A&M before he tore his right ACL in the Aggies' Liberty Bowl win over West Virginia last December. He figures to be a long-term replacement for veteran and current Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who is coming up on the final year of his latest contract. Whitworth's dominating play in recent seasons makes him a lock to receive a new contract from Cincinnati, but the move to draft tackles with the first two picks this spring sent a contrasting message. The Bengals appear to be gearing up for Whitworth's departure in future years. Despite his solid performances lately, Whitworth turns 34 in December. Father Time will eventually slow him down.
Though Ogbuehi may be the better long-term fit for replacing Whitworth, Jake Fisher got his share of action at left tackle during organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp. He also hopped around to other positions, playing some at left guard, right tackle and as an additional blocker in unbalanced sets. It's the latter role Fisher played that makes him a good additional fit for certain schemes. The only reason he appears to be the short-term replacement for Whitworth is because he was training at left tackle while Ogbuehi was rehabbing his knee this spring. Although Ogbuehi showed signs of progress last week cutting in cone drills, of the two linemen, Fisher still likely will begin training camp getting the bulk of the left tackle reserve snaps.
Threw draft & FA was offense or defense impacted more? What area do you see as still needing addressed? WR? https://t.co/OGvhQDqWFp- Cbraines1976 (@cbraines1976) July 9, 2015
@ColeyHarvey. The Bengals did a pretty good job of addressing both sides of the ball in different ways this offseason. Free agency was primarily dedicated to defense. Defensive end Michael Johnson and linebacker A.J. Hawk were among the players they signed from the outside. During the draft, the offense benefited most. Five of the nine draft slots the Bengals had went to offensive players. From a numbers and potential standpoint, the Bengals certainly helped themselves on both offense and defense this offseason.
As far as position groups that still need to be addressed, I'll give two: tight end and receiver. Granted, I'm not sure how much the Bengals will be able to help themselves at either position before the regular season begins, but it seems clear they might need work at those spots. As good a pool a talent as they have at receiver, behind the likes of A.J. Green, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu and James Wright, there are a lot of question marks. There are question marks about how good rookie Mario Alford will be when the lights come on. There are similar reservations about whether Brandon Tate or Denarius Moore can truly be productive receivers and special-teams returners.
At tight end, I didn't see much this spring beyond Tyler Eifert. The playmaker looked smooth and fluid as he returns from shoulder and elbow injuries that marred his 2014 season. Otherwise, rookies Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah still have a lot of work ahead of them if they are going to help back up Eifert. Kroft was regularly dropping passes during open practices in the spring, although he started holding onto them better by the last week. Uzomah has impressive size, burst and hands, but he still needs some refining on how to play the position. In time both could be key contributors, but there certainly is a gap between them and Eifert.