After the shebacle in Detroit, it’s pretty apparent that the Bengals offensive line – and especially their pass protection – need some significant improvement. The good news is, there’s a solution available. The bad news is, the team is unlikely to use it.
Andre Smith, who’s currently listed as the starting right tackle, would make a perfect left guard. Smith played left tackle in college so the left side is familiar to him. Furthermore, he would be placed alongside Andrew Whitworth, who could serve as the perfect mentor to him. It would also protect Smith from one of his supposed weaknesses, which is pass blocking on the edge against speed rushers. Finally, the switch would also move Nate Livings to a backup spot, which seems to be a better fit for him.
Anthony Collins, who has performed well whenever he’s been in the starting lineup, could move to right tackle. Collins has good feet and is an effective pass blocker. He may not be the road grader that Smith is in the running game, but he’s a solid player overall. And yet, the Bengals have relegated him to the bench, making him a backup.
It makes more sense to shuffle the line now and place Collins as the starter at right tackle. Smith should be moved to left guard. But neither move is likely to happen.
And because of that, the Bengals struggles on the offensive line could continue.