The OTAs and minicamp are over. Every team evaluated every player that they possess. Some are more impactful. The two Cincinnati Bengals players that will make an impact are Quinton Spain and Chris Evans. The Bengals are hoping to find a spark in the offensive line and they think Spain is that man. Chris Evans can be the running back that can take over for Giovani Bernard, who left for Tampa Bay.
Running back Chris Evans has the talent to become very impactful. He is a completely different type of back than Joe Mixon. Mixon is known for his patience, as an in-between the tackle kind of guy, good at reading blocks, and good at finding the hole.
Chris Evans is a one-cut downhill runner which will give him an interesting look at being a change of pace running back for the Bengals. He hits the hole quickly, gets by the second wave with one quick cut, and then shows his speed after he passes the linebackers. When he puts on the gas it"s over.
Perhaps the biggest praise the Bengals have for Evans coming into training camp is his soft touch hands. Offensive coordinate Brian Callahan says, Chris Evans has the most natural hands for a running back he has ever seen. Today"s NFL is all about the passing game. Not only does Evans have soft natural hands, but he also possesses great route running for a running back.
Offensive Coordinator Brian Callahan once again had something to say about another player on the offensive side of the ball. Jake Liscow on the podcast Locked on Bengals found encouraging words in an article by Paul Dehner Jr from The Athletic.
Callahan is very comfortable with Spain at left guard. The confidence is very encouraging. This time he will have a full training camp to learn the plays and execute them to perfection by the opening game. Knowing the system from day one was what he was missing. Hopefully, he will be the impressive offensive lineman he was in his prime.
Spain is more than likely the frontrunner to win the left guard spot just by the confidence they have in him. His competition is Xavier Su"a Filo which was injured for the season pretty much all of the season. Spain understands technique and verbiage that he should win that spot barring an injury.
Spain is very versatile as he showed last season by playing three positions on the line. He was the only one that stayed healthy once he came on to the team halfway through the season.
Both Players are in “Earn It" Mode
Frank Pollack is running the show on that offensive line. The whole feeling around training camp is a “you have to earn it" kind of vibe. The Bengals players know they have to earn every single spot on the roster and nothing will be given.
The Bengals were very silent when it came to free agency and with training camp looming they have about 20 million dollars in cap space if they wanted to use it to upgrade the offensive line or backup RB. They are pretty confident in what they have, however, and are heading to training camp to find out if that confidence is warranted.
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