It feels like Andre Smith has been a punchline in Cincinnati for a long time.
It’s worth remembering the third-year pro is only 24 years old. He’s quietly started to live up to his potential this season as the Bengals’ starting right tackle.
“Not to be in the spotlight has been pretty fine for myself and my family. We’ve been embracing it,” Smith told Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I can get better.”
Smith has allowed two sacks and five pressures this year. He’s generally looked like an above average starter.
Just staying on the field is a big step for Smith. He only played in five games in his first two years since being the No. 6 overall pick of the 2009 draft. Smith will start his sixth straight game on Sunday against his biggest test yet: Robert Mathis of the Colts.
For Smith, becoming a forgotten man is a good thing.
“I think that’s a good thing if you haven’t had a whole lot to talk about,” teammate Andrew Whitworth said. “Usually tackles don’t get talked about unless it’s in a bad way.”