Left tackle Jonah Williams had his fifth-year option exercised by the Bengals earlier this year and that sets him up to be part of the starting lineup in Cincinnati through at least the 2023 season.
That kind of commitment wasn’t extended to Williams’ fellow starters from the 2021 season. After Joe Burrow was sacked 70 times, the Bengals knew they needed to make changes to the line and they added three veterans in free agency to complete that project.
It remains to be seen if Alex Cappa, Ted Karras, and La'el Collins will lead to improved results, but Williams said on Tuesday that everyone involved knows that anything less will be an unacceptable outcome.
“We didn’t play well enough,” Williams said, via Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I think that’s obvious when you look at the stats and look at the outcome of the game. I think everyone in the locker room understands that and we know we want to get to that stage again and we want to perform a lot better the next time that we’re there so that’s our goal, that’s what we’re working towards. . . . We know that the offense — the type of playmakers that we have with Joe at quarterback and our receivers and running backs and everyone that we have — if we do our job well it’s going to allow everyone else to shine. That’s kind of what we do as linemen, so going into this year we want to see those numbers get down. The way we approach it we just want help our offense run more smoothly and that would involve giving Joe more time back there.”
The Bengals don’t want their run to Super Bowl LVI to be seen as a fluke and the investment in the offensive line looks like a good way to support that effort because all roads to success in Cincinnati start with Burrow being in command of the offense.