Brian Kelly, Clint Kubiak, Joe Burrow discussed on Lance McAlister
You know the most talked about storyline during the off season into camping in the week. One was the offensive line. How are they going to look? Some new pieces added or some pieces? Moved at least and bringing in Riley Reef in the off season. Um, give me an a set big picture, and then we'll go. It's kind of a little bit micro. Give me a big picture sense of how you felt about the offensive line. I thought the offensive line performed adequately, You know, I think there's room for improvement, but again in the opener, and when you're going against a guy as creative and as knowledgeable as Mike Zimmer And who can throw wrinkles out there that are pretty dramatic, not just with his with his double a gap, but other things like Brian Callahan was talking about. He put a guy in the nose and that's not a big Mike Zimmer thing. Brian Kelly handed never prepared for Mike Zimmer defense. That was an odd look. They call that odd if they have a nose tackle, even if the center is uncovered in the defensive tackles are on the guards, so a different look. And honestly, when you think about it, it makes sense because Mike Zimmer's thinking Trey Hopkins. Uh, reconstruction. I've got piers Behemoth beast. I think I'm going to test Trey Hopkins by putting him on the nose and it's different Look, and we can do some scheming around it. So it's difficult. You have to go to the grease board at the sideline. You come out and trade hawkers like Coach coach Pollock I What are we going to do? All of our rules? You know, we do. We have rules. What do we What do we do with this big beast on my nose? And what are we thinking? Here? Get the grease poured out. Okay, let's make the adjustments. And that was one of my big keys to the game. You know, One of the keys was handled the gap. Who's going to run the football more effectively. Bengals did a decent job double a gap as well as a lot of teams do. They ran the ball better than the Minnesota Vikings did. And then the all important third was adjustments during the game coaching adjustments immediately on the sideline, not waiting till halftime but immediately on a series by series basis. Who's going to be able to make the quickest and best adjustments and the Bengals hung right in there, as opposed to, you Know, boy, all the experience Mike Zimmer and everything else. They hung in there pretty darn well. And I think, uh, you know, Lou in a room Oh, as as a more experienced defensive coordinator going against Clint Kubiak, who is the first time you just call and plays as an offensive coordinator? I think Luann Romo made some adjustments and and made things tougher. Clint Kubiak. Although you know again, not everything is going to be perfect. You go zero coverage on that fourth and four and they hit you right in the butt with a 24 yard touchdown pass Those things happen. Those guys get paid to their pros. And they Kirk Cousins has seen things and feeling the same things and they made a great adjustment. And, uh, in 1 69 snaps for each of these starters, each of the starting offensive linemen took all the snaps. Rightly Reef. I haven't had a chance to ask you much about Riley Reef, but to me Just my sense is he's a lunch pail kind of guy doesn't mean a few words, but my sense is, he's a guy that you love big time. Big time. Mike Zimmer loves him, Mike Zimmer said. You know, he doesn't say anything. But when he says something, everybody listens, You know, it's kind of Yeah, Yeah, no question, and Mike Zimmer said one of my all time favorites, You know, he's got a 280 acre ranch here in northern Kentucky Zim doesn't he gave Riley Reef The code to his gate the code to his house the code to his ranch coat everywhere, So he he just trust this guy. He made him a captain up there at Minnesota and you know he didn't. He didn't want him to go. It was just a salary cap scenario, and the Bangles stepped up in the Minnesota Vikings were in cap trouble, and Riley Reef was a victim of that so It wasn't that Mike Zimmer said. You've got to move on. You can't play anymore. And during that game after the Bangle scored their second, their third touchdown to go up 21 to 7 Riley Reef, you know, going against his former team, and I'm sure he had a lot to say that the other offensive lineman there's nothing like I went against the student practice. I'm telling you, this is his best move. This is a little bit of his weakness. Here's what you have to think about those kind of things on top of, you know other other tendencies that you know, coaches might have and all that all that Intel all that information. They picked up a quarterback on the practice squad that has spent the entire training camp at the Minnesota Vikings. You know, and Riley Reef and you know they had they had some Minnesota Viking Intel Trade wings. You know, I had some Minnesota Viking intel, so it's you know, And then, of course, Minnesota felt they had a lot of Intel. Mike Zimmer knows a lot about the Bengals organization, Paul Guenther, but they hadn't been around for a while. These guys were more recently with the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings game was important to Riley Reef, because no matter what you can be quiet, you can still be prideful. And this dude is prideful in his mind, they said Move on. And he wanted to stick it to him. Believe me, he wanted a pound salt up their rear end. So when when they went up 21 7. After the extra point, he's sprinted off the field from the sideline. He ran a 10 flat 100. I mean, that was his former celebration. He beat all the skill guys. He made everybody off the field runs to the spot on the bench, sits down his bench, takes his helmet off of the big smile on his face. Didn't say anything. I mean, here's the tree crappy if he has a mouthful of it, but that right there told me wryly Reef is rolling man that adrenaline's pumping and it was. It was good to see I and and all all the offensive lineman of responded to him. Joe Mixon has Joe Burrow has He has had an impact on this football team. Fred Johnson was inactive. Isaiah Prince was active. What did you make of that decision? Roster wise. I think that Frank Pollock is saying to Fred Johnson, you got to take it. More sailors seriously, Fred. You're a big, strong guy. Long arms, you know, range and all that. But Prince might have been the most improved offensive lineman from last year this year. Based on what Frank Pollocks been teaching him, he responded to the techniques. Uh very well. He's more athletic than Fred Johnson. Not as thick and strong but more athletic. And I think that Frank Pollock at this point in time trust Prince more than each trust Fred Johnson. And it's that simple. Now it's not to say that Fred Johnson is going to be the active every week. But for week one, Prince one that spot one that eighth offensive lineman is such the third tackle, eighth offensive lineman Got about a minute. Just a final quick thought on Jackson, Carmen and the track he's on and where his arrow, is it. Is it pointing up right now? In your mind, you know? Yeah. I mean, the Bengals activated him. And, uh and then they sat somebody that they're very high on. I mean, you know, uh, just cramped on his name number 70 for the Cincinnati Bengals. I will tell you, you know, I think I'll tell you here in a second. Yeah, they deactivated DeAndre Smith, who had a great camp from East Carolina. They were very high on him. He's got position. Versatility..