Anyone who reads my columns each week should know by now that they are often quite positive. Of course, I use my “negatives” to put out some frustration, but I rarely ever say it is time for us to move on from someone. Unfortunately, this is one of those rare columns as I truly believe now is the time to get rid of Frank Pollack.
Pollack is the offensive line coach for the Bengals and has been with the team since 2021. Through all the different people we have added up front over the years, it never changes. I won’t pretend to know that he is 100 percent the issue, but I do know that after three years of watching us struggle up front, now would be the time to make a change after the season ending injury to Joe Burrow.
Burrow is known for extending plays and sometimes takes sacks that he shouldn’t, but we are now in the territory of him turning into the next Andrew Luck. In Burrow’s career, he has been sacked 148 times in 52 games. Andrew Luck, who was brutally hit in his career, was sacked 115 times in 55 games. Just in the playoffs, Joe Burrow has been sacked 29 times (seven games), while Luck was sacked 11 times in the playoffs (eight games). Over the years we have continued to bring in big names and to spend money on the guys up front, but we always tend to look the same. Now that the season is basically over for Cincinnati, it is time to get to work with a new coach for the offensive line.
The Glass Man
Now as much as it is a sin to talk bad about Joe Burrow, we all know that he has been injured way too often. Of course, he is the best quarterback to wear the stripes, but being on the field means everything. In Joe’s career he has suffered injuries in the following years:
· 2020 – Rib fracture
· 2020 – ACL, meniscus, MCL tear
· 2021 – Dislocated pinky
· 2022 – Knee strain/MCL strain
· 2023 – Calf strain/and now a wrist injury to end his season
I understand that he gave this entire city hope and that he is the main reason for the recent success in the organization, but at some point his contract is going to come into question if these injuries continue. His health plays a scary role in the emotional well-being of many across Bengals territory and we all just want to see him healthy and on the field. As injury prone as Joe Burrow is, we have to believe that many of these could have been avoided with better protection. If we want Joe Burrow to be able to be on the field and to show that he is the most talented quarterback while in his prime, then it’s simply time to move on from Frank Pollack or Joe Burrow is going to be known as “the man made of glass.”
Now that the frustration is out, let’s dive into the positives of what we have left in the season. I have been negative enough to begin this article, so we will stick with only the positives.
· Jake Browning came into the game and managed to put points on the board. He appeared to be poised and he was able to be productive.
· The Bengals are still sitting at .500. While it is not ideal, technically speaking, this season is far from over.
· Joe Mixon was running the ball very well to begin the game against the Ravens. If we can develop the run game, it will make things that much easier for Browning.
· Tanner Hudson might just be the “TE1” for this roster after proving himself over the last two weeks.
· Lou Anarumo finally made the switch from Nick Scott to Jordan Battle and I think this will stick for the majority of snaps to end the year.
Biggest positives of all
· My wife and I are expecting (due in May) our first child and we recently found out it is a boy! I can’t wait to enjoy the Bengals and Reds with the little one in years to come!
· Roughly 130 days until Reds baseball begins!
Matthew McAdow is a Peebles resident. He works in human resources in the nuclear industry and has been an avid Cincinnati fan his entire life. He is an Ohio Christian University graduate and has always enjoyed giving an honest opinion on multiple topics regarding Cincinnati sports.