Bengals O-line Coach Paul Alexander - Good or Bad?

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    Voice of Reason's Avatar
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    Bengals O-line Coach Paul Alexander - Good or Bad?

    Personally, I have never thought much of Paul Alexander as offensive line coach. I remember too much of the terrible offensive lines he had the first part of his career with the Bengals. People may not realize he has been offensive line coach since the mid-90's. He was hired by Dave Shula and has survived all the head coach changes over the years - it could only happen in Cincinnati.

    He finally hit on some good picks like Willie Anderson and Andrew Whitworth that made Alexander look like he knows what he is doing. Add in a couple other solid picks in that time and the line looked halfway decent. Now that those studs are gone and Alexander missed again on high draft picks, Alexander's line looks bad again.

    Here are offensive linemen drafted in the first three rounds under Alexander:

    1995 - Rd. 2 OT Melvin Tuten ... flop, started 9 games as a Bengal
    1996 - Rd. 1 OT Willie Anderson ... stud
    ..........Rd. 3 OT Ken Blackman ... flop, lasted 3 years
    1997 - Rd. 3 C Rod Payne ... flop, one year, never started a game
    1998 - Rd. 3 OG Mike Goff ... good pick; started 4 years in Cin. and 5 years in SD
    2002 - Rd. 1 OT Levi Jones ... solid pick but not #10 in the draft quality
    2003 - Rd. 2 Eric Steinbach ... solid pick; started for 7 years
    2006 - Rd. 2 OT Andrew Whitworth ... stud
    2009 - Rd. 1 OT Andre Smith ... flop
    2012 - Rd 1 OG Kevin Zeitler ... solid pick; 5 year starter
    2015 - Rd. 1 OT Cedric Ogbuehi ... as of now, flop
    ..........Rd. 2 OT Jake Fisher ... as of now, flop

    Three good draft picks in 23 years. Mediocre at best offensive lines in the majority of his 23 years. Am I missing something? Does Bengals management deserve some of the blame for not signing back some of those good/above average linemen? What are your thoughts - Alexander good or bad?
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    GrantNKY's Avatar
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    footmaster's Avatar
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    He’s terrible imo...

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    He hasn't developed one player. The players that are highlighted were studs coming out of college. Around the league you see many teams playing with multiple late round picks, but the Bengals have spent many high picks on the line and it hasn't panned out. There is one constant and it's Paul Alexander.

    This years line is not a power line but more of an athletic line that can move, yet all the scheme is still still straight line power run and drop back pass. Adjustments haven't been made with personnel and that's on Alexander.

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    I don't necessarily disagree but I do wonder how Zeitler would not fall into your classification of three good draft picks when another team (I understand the Browns are the Browns) thought enough of him to make him the highest paid guard in league history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Voice of Reason View Post
    Personally, I have never thought much of Paul Alexander as offensive line coach. I remember too much of the terrible offensive lines he had the first part of his career with the Bengals. People may not realize he has been offensive line coach since the mid-90's. He was hired by Dave Shula and has survived all the head coach changes over the years - it could only happen in Cincinnati.

    He finally hit on some good picks like Willie Anderson and Andrew Whitworth that made Alexander look like he knows what he is doing. Add in a couple other solid picks in that time and the line looked halfway decent. Now that those studs are gone and Alexander missed again on high draft picks, Alexander's line looks bad again.

    Here are offensive linemen drafted in the first three rounds under Alexander:

    1995 - Rd. 2 OT Melvin Tuten ... flop, started 9 games as a Bengal
    1996 - Rd. 1 OT Willie Anderson ... stud
    ..........Rd. 3 OT Ken Blackman ... flop, lasted 3 years
    1997 - Rd. 3 C Rod Payne ... flop, one year, never started a game
    1998 - Rd. 3 OG Mike Goff ... good pick; started 4 years in Cin. and 5 years in SD
    2002 - Rd. 1 OT Levi Jones ... solid pick but not #10 in the draft quality
    2003 - Rd. 2 Eric Steinbach ... solid pick; started for 7 years
    2006 - Rd. 2 OT Andrew Whitworth ... stud
    2009 - Rd. 1 OT Andre Smith ... flop
    2012 - Rd 1 OG Kevin Zeitler ... solid pick; 5 year starter
    2015 - Rd. 1 OT Cedric Ogbuehi ... as of now, flop
    ..........Rd. 2 OT Jake Fisher ... as of now, flop

    Three good draft picks in 23 years. Mediocre at best offensive lines in the majority of his 23 years. Am I missing something? Does Bengals management deserve some of the blame for not signing back some of those good/above average linemen? What are your thoughts - Alexander good or bad?
    VOR, are you sure you are not assuming that this coach has much influence over who is drafted, and who is resigned? I put the personnel decisions squarely on the GM/HC and I believe Mavin functions as both.

    Offensive Line is just a profoundly undervalued position at every level of football. You see nfl franchises all over the place let pro bowl caliber OL go (Whitworth) and replace them with untested rookies or free agents. Just the list you present above illustrates how few high quality OL there are in this league.

    I fault the Bengals for letting Whitworth go. Pro bowl caliber OL are irreplaceable at any price.

    Off hand, these are the teams that have undervalued OL :

    Cincy
    Denver
    New England
    Seattle

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer.Pride View Post
    VOR, are you sure you are not assuming that this coach has much influence over who is drafted, and who is resigned? I put the personnel decisions squarely on the GM/HC and I believe Mavin functions as both.

    Offensive Line is just a profoundly undervalued position at every level of football. You see nfl franchises all over the place let pro bowl caliber OL go (Whitworth) and replace them with untested rookies or free agents. Just the list you present above illustrates how few high quality OL there are in this league.

    I fault the Bengals for letting Whitworth go. Pro bowl caliber OL are irreplaceable at any price.

    Off hand, these are the teams that have undervalued OL :

    Cincy
    Denver
    New England
    Seattle
    Do people forget the Bengals line last year was bad even with Whit and Zeitler? The Bengals were basically darned in they do, darned if they don't with Whit and Zeitler. If the Bengals sign both back and the line was still bad like last year, they are idiots for spending that much money on those guys. If the Bengals sign back just one and say it was Whit because he was their leader. Then the line still ends up being bad, people say they are idiots for giving such a big contract to an old lineman and the line still being bad.

    The Bengals were basically in trouble no matter what they did, all because their two young tackles they drafted ended up not working out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Voice of Reason View Post
    Personally, I have never thought much of Paul Alexander as offensive line coach. I remember too much of the terrible offensive lines he had the first part of his career with the Bengals. People may not realize he has been offensive line coach since the mid-90's. He was hired by Dave Shula and has survived all the head coach changes over the years - it could only happen in Cincinnati.

    He finally hit on some good picks like Willie Anderson and Andrew Whitworth that made Alexander look like he knows what he is doing. Add in a couple other solid picks in that time and the line looked halfway decent. Now that those studs are gone and Alexander missed again on high draft picks, Alexander's line looks bad again.

    Here are offensive linemen drafted in the first three rounds under Alexander:

    1995 - Rd. 2 OT Melvin Tuten ... flop, started 9 games as a Bengal
    1996 - Rd. 1 OT Willie Anderson ... stud
    ..........Rd. 3 OT Ken Blackman ... flop, lasted 3 years
    1997 - Rd. 3 C Rod Payne ... flop, one year, never started a game
    1998 - Rd. 3 OG Mike Goff ... good pick; started 4 years in Cin. and 5 years in SD
    2002 - Rd. 1 OT Levi Jones ... solid pick but not #10 in the draft quality
    2003 - Rd. 2 Eric Steinbach ... solid pick; started for 7 years
    2006 - Rd. 2 OT Andrew Whitworth ... stud
    2009 - Rd. 1 OT Andre Smith ... flop
    2012 - Rd 1 OG Kevin Zeitler ... solid pick; 5 year starter
    2015 - Rd. 1 OT Cedric Ogbuehi ... as of now, flop
    ..........Rd. 2 OT Jake Fisher ... as of now, flop

    Three good draft picks in 23 years. Mediocre at best offensive lines in the majority of his 23 years. Am I missing something? Does Bengals management deserve some of the blame for not signing back some of those good/above average linemen? What are your thoughts - Alexander good or bad?
    I completely agree! I think he has really struggled adapting to how the game has changed. With most offenses in college now being more spread and athletic type of lineman. He hasn't done a good job evaluating them, and then also coaching them up. I also don't think he has adjusted well to the rules change of not as much hitting in practices. He is definitely another coach that I feel needs to be gone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panther8404 View Post
    I don't necessarily disagree but I do wonder how Zeitler would not fall into your classification of three good draft picks when another team (I understand the Browns are the Browns) thought enough of him to make him the highest paid guard in league history.
    You said it, the Browns. Has Zeitler ever been named to an all AFC team? I am pretty sure he has never been to a Pro Bowl, yet he is the highest paid guard. The Browns.

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    I don't believe Zeitler was worth what he was paid. It is all very subjective. Take Mike Goff for example. Goff played in 16 games three out of the six years he was in Cincinnati. Goff never won any awards while he was in Cincinnati. On those merits you could claim he was a bust. In separate years he also helped anchor the line that had the second best rushing offense in the league and in another season allowed the fourth fewest sacks in Bengals history during his time in Cincinnati. That would fall more under the stud category. He did not make an All-Pro team until he went to San Diego.
    It is also difficult to write the entire thing off as "the Browns being the Browns" (I am aware I'm the one that brought this up first lol) as there were reportedly deals offered by the Saints, Jaguars, and Bengals that were all worth over $50 million, close to the record $60 million the Browns ultimately gave him. Clearly there was interest to pay him at, or very close to the top tier of guards in the NFL.

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    With all of that being said, clearly there are an incredible amount of changes that need to occur within the organization. As much as people praise Paul A and his work, sometimes you simply need a new face and a new voice to shake people into getting their job done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panther8404 View Post
    With all of that being said, clearly there are an incredible amount of changes that need to occur within the organization. As much as people praise Paul A and his work, sometimes you simply need a new face and a new voice to shake people into getting their job done.
    Its hard to see what Paul Alexander sees in these guys sometimes. I forget what year it was but we had two guys rotating at LG. One was Even Mathis, and I forget whole the other guy was I think Nate Livings? Paul A always kept wanting to start Livings and did when he was healthy. Even though he didn't do to well, while when Mathis did play he did good and the line looked much better. Mathis ends up leaving and becoming a pro bowler. Then the whole Eric Guicheck (sp.) years where we kept sticking it out with him for some reason even though the line did very poorly with him. They finally let him go and Kyle Cook took over and the line got better again.

    Now he is basically doing the same with Bodine. The line has progressively got worst with him in the lineup, even when we had Whit and Zeitler last year. Yet Paul Alexander still is a big believer in him. No matter how much penetration teams get up the middle on the Bengals. I am honestly not the biggest Boling fan either. However as you said sometimes players need a new face and a new voice to shake people into getting their job done. I feel like it's time for a change at that coaching spot.

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    They were talking on the radio the other day if Lewis gets fired, who on the Bengals team would get a look at coach. The two names they mentioned were Guenther and Alexander. Scary thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by littleluck55 View Post
    They were talking on the radio the other day if Lewis gets fired, who on the Bengals team would get a look at coach. The two names they mentioned were Guenther and Alexander. Scary thought.
    Very scary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by littleluck55 View Post
    They were talking on the radio the other day if Lewis gets fired, who on the Bengals team would get a look at coach. The two names they mentioned were Guenther and Alexander. Scary thought.
    That has always been a big fear of mine - that Alexander would get the head coaching job the next time it comes open. He has the title of assistant head coach now and has had it for a number of years.

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