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New Bengals Offense under Dan Pitcher


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RUNNING BACKS:

 

A big clue that the Bengals are still planning to run a significant percentage of their plays in shotgun is the addition of Zack Moss. Last season he was much more effective running the ball out of shotgun formations. He averaged 5.2 yards running out of shotgun formations, with Indy using the same kind of downhill gap blocking schemes that the Bengals utilize. His rushing average wasn't nearly so good running in UC formations, although I'm sure that quite a few of those were short yardage situations where the rushing averages always dip.

 

There are reports that Chase Brown looks much stronger than last season after an offseason spent reshaping his body. Hopefully he will be better in pass pro this season, but he was only asked to do that a few times last year due to a trust factor. I still expect Brown to get most of his snaps when Burrow is UC with Sample as an inline TE. Just seems to be a better fit for his running style, Plus we all remember his blazing screen pass TD that covered over half the field. Much easier to run a screen pass play like that with the QB under center. Burrow is excellent with almost all of his various throws, no reason why he can't throw good screen passes too. It just hasn't been a big part of his QB game so far in his career.

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1 hour ago, PatternMaster said:

The running game suffers under Taylor because he doesn't run the ball enough. too many times the Bengals are passing the ball on 3rd and short, hopefully, the new OC will not outsmart himself and make running the ball a priority. 

 

Hopefully they will have a running back they can trust to get the yards on 3rd and short.

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10 hours ago, High School Harry said:

Hopefully they will have a running back they can trust to get the yards on 3rd and short.

 

Much as I think Mixon ran like he was knee-deep in sand, I think this is more about trusting the interior OL not to get detonated in short yardage situations.  The offense not exclusively going under center to run the ball should help but it's still the same interior OL.  Barring some surprise UDFA sleeper killing it in training camp there's not going to be any competition for those spots.

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1 hour ago, Mikeslumina said:

I hope tee and chase are ready to go game 1. If offense changes they come In late it could impact the offense. I think they will figure it out. 

 

Chase seems like he could roll out of bed and go for 100 yards & 2 TD's without breaking a sweat.  I'm curious about where Tee's head is at & when he plans to report.  If Chase doesn't show up for the mandatory stuff it'll be for a good reason.  Fully expect to see him report for TC on time as usual.

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1 hour ago, Mikeslumina said:

I heard Zac say in interview they have all the new stuff on offense. I doubt tee has it, as he doesn't have contract still has not signed franchise tag.

Any tweaks to the offense probably affects Higgins less than maybe any other player on offense. He is a pure outside receiver. The Bengals don't move Tee all over the field the way they do with Chase. 

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Yeah - Tee is going to be stuck at split end this year. Burton/Chase/G will switch between flanker and slot. The route concepts are not going to be much different. Going to be a lot of 989 where Tee is going to be running a lot of go’s and posts. 

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For those wondering what some of the changes there might be with Dan Pitcher's offense, here is potentially one described by Geoff Hobson:

 

HOT MIKE: New Bengals tight end Mike Gesicki has lined up everywhere on The Banks this spring. In the slot, split out, on the line, always, it seems, in motion.

"Love it," said Gesicki Tuesday. "During my (seven-year) career, I've moved a ton."

He's appearing in a lot of double tight-end sets (12 personnel) these days with either Tanner Hudson or Drew Sample, but when asked if he thinks this marks an influx of more double tight-end personnel for an offense that has led the NFL in three-receiver looks (11 personnel) the past few years, Gesicki said, "We just got through the first seven-on-seven of the season. Ask me that in late August."

Just from watching in the slot, where the 5-9 Hilton has to occasionally deal with the 6-6 Gesicki, Hilton thinks they'll be more varied.

"We saw a lot of 12 today," Hilton said. "I think they'll mix it up a lot. Gesicki, that's a big slot receiver. So you get that 11 look. We know he can play on the line, But when he makes his money, he's split out getting those matchups. Obviously, he's a big receiver. He's not really a burner, but really savvy in his routes. His length is a problem. I feel he fits in perfectly."

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SLOT RECEIVER:

 

Tyler Boyd took 85.3% of his snaps from the slot in 2023. Pretty safe to say that no one receiver will come anywhere close to that this upcoming season. The only pure slot WR on the team is Charlie Jones. The best "slot receiver" on the roster is this guy:

 

Of course Chase is also the best outside WR too, but I think his slot percentage will go significantly this season, maybe even close to 50%. What might help Chase even more his average distance of target aDOT increased as well. No reason why Chase can't run deeper routes down the seams, rather than always just depending on his great YAC ability. Would be another way of getting more explosive plays, which Pitcher is always talking about.

 

Jermaine Burton took about 20 percent of his senior year snaps from the slot, but he had greater success as an outside receiver. Part of that was the function of the Alabama offense, but it might take some time to get him comfortable in the slot at the NFL level. Still, Burton is explosive enough to stress the defense no matter where he lines up, even as a rookie. His greatest trait is his catching ability. He seems to adjust pretty well to new offenses and new QBs. He had 4 different starting QBs in 4 years of HS, then had different starting QBs in each of his 2 years at Georgia then again in each of his 2 years at Alabama. So Burrow will be his 9th starting QB in the last 9 years. He may well hit the ground running.

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2 hours ago, dex said:

SLOT RECEIVER:

 

Tyler Boyd took 85.3% of his snaps from the slot in 2023. Pretty safe to say that no one receiver will come anywhere close to that this upcoming season. The only pure slot WR on the team is Charlie Jones. The best "slot receiver" on the roster is this guy:

 

Of course Chase is also the best outside WR too, but I think his slot percentage will go significantly this season, maybe even close to 50%. What might help Chase even more his average distance of target aDOT increased as well. No reason why Chase can't run deeper routes down the seams, rather than always just depending on his great YAC ability. Would be another way of getting more explosive plays, which Pitcher is always talking about.

 

Jermaine Burton took about 20 percent of his senior year snaps from the slot, but he had greater success as an outside receiver. Part of that was the function of the Alabama offense, but it might take some time to get him comfortable in the slot at the NFL level. Still, Burton is explosive enough to stress the defense no matter where he lines up, even as a rookie. His greatest trait is his catching ability. He seems to adjust pretty well to new offenses and new QBs. He had 4 different starting QBs in 4 years of HS, then had different starting QBs in each of his 2 years at Georgia then again in each of his 2 years at Alabama. So Burrow will be his 9th starting QB in the last 9 years. He may well hit the ground running.

 

Agree with a lot of the above... but we'll see on Charlie Jones, who I'm still a fan of. I don't see him as a pure slot guy.

 

I expect to see him there for sure... the majority of his snaps. But I think he can play outside, too... I mean, he was pretty much exclusively that at Purdue. He's got long speed, and had success as an outside WR against current NFL CBs like Joey Porter and DJ Turner. How they decide to mix and match receivers will be fun to watch in camp. 

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1 hour ago, texbengal said:

 

Agree with a lot of the above... but we'll see on Charlie Jones, who I'm still a fan of. I don't see him as a pure slot guy.

 

I expect to see him there for sure... the majority of his snaps. But I think he can play outside, too... I mean, he was pretty much exclusively that at Purdue. He's got long speed, and had success as an outside WR against current NFL CBs like Joey Porter and DJ Turner. How they decide to mix and match receivers will be fun to watch in camp. 

Not so much a knock on Jones as it is the way the rest of the WR room is constructed. Higgins and Iosivas are pure outside WRs. Burton is better outside than inside, at least right now. Chase can play anywhere, but I don't think the Bengals will ever give him the majority of the snaps in the slot. So it feels like the only real place for Jones is in the slot. Definitely more available snaps there for him. I expect to see more 12 personnel sets than ever before nest season. A whole lot of the Boyd slot snaps will go to Gesicki and maybe Hudson too.

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36 minutes ago, dex said:

Not so much a knock on Jones as it is the way the rest of the WR room is constructed. Higgins and Iosivas are pure outside WRs. Burton is better outside than inside, at least right now. Chase can play anywhere, but I don't think the Bengals will ever give him the majority of the snaps in the slot. So it feels like the only real place for Jones is in the slot. Definitely more available snaps there for him. I expect to see more 12 personnel sets than ever before nest season. A whole lot of the Boyd slot snaps will go to Gesicki and maybe Hudson too.

 

Thanks, and yeah, I get it. Jones hasn't proven anything, and looking at what they have and his potential opportunities for snaps, as you indicated slot looks like the best place for him. Just think he can play some outside too. 

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I saw some complaints in another thread about Drew Sample's contract, but imo that overlooks at how Sample's snap count increased substantially when Browning started going under center considerably more. That began in the Jacksonville game, and thereafter his snap counts began ballooning into the 60s and 70s percentile. He was almost always used as an inline TE. He only ran a route on passing plays 31% of the time, which means he was used primarily as a pass protector. As Sample's usage increased so did Cincinnati getting more explosive plays off of screen passes and other short routes. Maybe that was a coincidence maybe it wasn't, but the offensive coaches seem to believe it wasn't.

 

The fact that they gave Sample a 3 year contract likely means that the plan is to lean even more into the QB under center scheme, only with Burrow rather than Browning. Since Gesicki and definitely Hudson are not strong inline TEs, that only increases Sample's value to the team. While Sample was running routes on only 31% percent of his passing play snaps, Hudson ran routes on a whopping 85% of his pass play snaps. That really isn't ideal in terms of being unpredictable, which is why Gesicki figures to get a ton of snaps that would otherwise go to Hudson. Gesicki only ran routes on 59% of his pass play snaps for New England, which isn't enough for him but still preferable to 85%. I think Gesicki's percentage will maybe split the difference in Pitcher's new offense, maybe 70-72 percent.  

 

So if they plan to utilize Sample, 3 years /10.5M seems okay to me. For comparison sake, Josh Oliver signed a 3 yr/21M free agent contract with the Vikings last year to be an inline TE. Oliver got 42% of the offensive snap counts while only running routes on 22% of pass plays. So the Vikings used Oliver to block and Hockenson to catch passes in a lot of 12 personnel sets. With Boyd no longer the slot receiver, I expect a lot more 2 TE sets from the Bengals this year. Here is a deep dive into Drew Sample's 2023 usage breakdown:

 

https://www.rotowire.com/football/player/drew-sample-13809

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8 hours ago, dex said:

I saw some complaints in another thread about Drew Sample's contract, 

 

I've never understood the issue with Drew's contract. To me it's a good deal for an experienced veteran, when you consider the role he fills. 

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Sample's contract is terrible because it overpays him for what he brings to the table and runs for 3 years. He was a free agent the prior year and had no interest from other teams because he's pretty limited. An average blocking TE who isn't much of a downfield threat isn't hard to find. And don't require 2nd round picks. The idea that Sample will be twice as valuable to the 2024 Bengals as Gesicki is just insulting to the players. 

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3 hours ago, sparky151 said:

The idea that Sample will be twice as valuable to the 2024 Bengals as Gesicki is just insulting to the players. 

 

The Bengals got Gesicki at a steep discount because he was coming off a New England campaign where he did nothing because of shitty QB play. But after 1 year with Shiesty and 8 TDs, he will want like 10 million a year and leave in free agency.

 

Meanwhile, Drew's 3 million-a-year deal will continue to be a bargain. 

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This right here below from Pitcher was a knock on Mixon.  We all know it as many have said it in that Mixon would always fall down when he could've gotten more yards, well, because of his over the top foward lean.  I can't wait to see what Moss can do.  The slight difference with Moss, for Pitcher, was how he didn’t deliver as powerful a blow but showed a propensity to stay upright.

 

“He plays with a natural low pad level, but without an overarching forward lean,” Pitcher said. “A lot of guys play with a heavy forward lean; they are physical finishers, but it’s hard for them to keep their feet. He plays with low pads, low center of gravity without a ton of forward lean, so he keeps his feet better as he plays through contact. It might not be punishing blows on third-level players, but they are getting glancing blows and he’s staying on his feet to grind out an extra 4 or 5 more.”

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3 hours ago, TigerJ@w said:

Mixon would always fall down when he could've gotten more yards,

 

Looked like Tarzan, but ran like Jane. It's why the Bengals always struggled so much with 2nd or 3rd and 1s.

 

What started out as a "Leveon Bell" style of patience running where Mixon would delay a second and wait on the hole, became a full-time feature where on most runs he didn't turn on the immediate burst unless there was an open field and no contact. 

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14 hours ago, sparky151 said:

Sample's contract is terrible because it overpays him for what he brings to the table and runs for 3 years. 

How can the Sample contract be "terrible" from a front office POV when so little of it is fully guaranteed?

 

Drew Sample signed a 3 year , $10,500,000 contract with the Cincinnati Bengals, including $2,350,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $3,500,000.

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It's terrible because that's just his roster bonus for 2024. Additionally he's getting a salary of 2.25 mil plus 300K of workout and per game bonuses. It means a cap number of 4.9 mil for this season. Last year he made 1.18 mil (vet minimum plus modest workout and roster bonuses. That was a much more appropriate level of compensation for his skillset. And that was as a free agent who didn't attract interest from other teams (he was coming off a season ending injury in 2022 but was able to play all year in 2023). 

 

Let's not act as if Sample is a key cog in our offense. Why are they paying him more than Trent Brown and triple Trent Irwin? If they just wanted to throw money at a guy out of sympathy, Jake Browning would have been a much better candidate. Sample is an average run and pass blocker and below average receiver. He could easily be replaced by a rookie TE but that won't happen this year with his guarantees. 

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2 hours ago, sparky151 said:

It's terrible because that's just his roster bonus for 2024. Additionally he's getting a salary of 2.25 mil plus 300K of workout and per game bonuses. It means a cap number of 4.9 mil for this season. Last year he made 1.18 mil (vet minimum plus modest workout and roster bonuses. That was a much more appropriate level of compensation for his skillset. And that was as a free agent who didn't attract interest from other teams (he was coming off a season ending injury in 2022 but was able to play all year in 2023). 

 

Let's not act as if Sample is a key cog in our offense. Why are they paying him more than Trent Brown and triple Trent Irwin? If they just wanted to throw money at a guy out of sympathy, Jake Browning would have been a much better candidate. Sample is an average run and pass blocker and below average receiver. He could easily be replaced by a rookie TE but that won't happen this year with his guarantees. 


😂 😂 😂 

 

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16 hours ago, BlackJesus said:

 

But after 1 year with Shiesty and 8 TDs, he will want like 10 million a year and leave in free agency

 

After 4 years with Sheisty.. Drew only has 3.

 

He's basically a tall FB. Or an undersized extra OT that doesn't get called for a penalty if the ball hits him in the back of the head 😅 I guess that's still crucial for the new OC's offense?

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