Newly hired General Manager Dave Gettleman was credited with making a statement about the stamp he’d put on the Giants late last season when starting right tackle Bobby Hart was put on waivers before the final week of the regular season.
Reports at the time indicated that Hart told the team’s coaches he would not play in Week 17 and former Giants offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz touched off a Twitter scrap with Hart by calling him a locker room cancer. Hart signed with the Bengals on Wednesday and said that a nagging ankle injury that people with the team knew about was the reason he felt he was unable to play.
Injured or not, Hart didn’t play well when he was on the field in 2017. The Bengals are willing to take a shot on a turnaround because they had their own troubles at tackle and Hart hopes playing for head coach Marvin Lewis helps spark that change in fortunes.
“It’s frustrating seeing all those things about you that you know are not true,” Hart said, via the Bengals website. “The main thing I took from [Lewis] is he’s not just blowing smoke. You can just feel the genuine aspect coming from him. When you get labelled those things, you kind of start to develop a wall, a shield where you block people out and don’t let people in. But when you talk to him and you feel how genuine he is, that wall just comes down. You just listen to him and you can feel he cares.”
Even after getting a Hart on Valentine’s Day, the Bengals figure to look for more help to shore up an offensive line that fell short last season.