Temper Your Optimism, Cincinnati Bengals Fans

Zane DanielsCorrespondent IMay 9, 2009

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 1:  Cincinnati Bengals second round draft pick Rey Maualuga #58 listens to linebackers coach Jeff Fitgerald during rookie minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium on May 1, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Mark Lyons/Getty Images)

Laveranues Coles, Tank Johnson, Andre Smith, Rey Maualuga, Michael Johnson, Roy Williams, and Brian Leonard.

It would be hard to complain about the acquisitions of the Bengals in this off-season, but where are the remaining needs and weaknesses? Plenty of big names, but are they in positions of dire importance?

I hate to rain on the ongoing Bengals pleasure factory, but we have three unproven spots along the offensive line. Right tackle, left tackle and center. I'd say those are three pretty big weaknesses/question marks.

The glimmer of solace, and it pains me to say this, is the Steelers. They won a Super Bowl last season with the saddest offensive line a championship team has fielded (Nearly 30 regular season sacks).

The unproven, albeit paper-impressive, Bengals line will be the determining factor of this teams success in the 2009 campaign.

Carson Palmer is the catalyst to this offense but there isn't much he can do from the seated position or with James Harrison chasing after him like a bully for his lunch money.

Don't get me wrong, this off-season has made me an optimistic fella. But the offensive line is vital to all skill positions in the offense. While we might be set at wide receiver, running back and tight end, we are far from proven in the trenches.

The departure of Levi Jones proves there is a great deal of confidence in the personnel Paul Alexander has killing buffets and tossing dumbbells. A deal of confidence that has Marvin Lewis, Bob Bratkowski and Alexander's jobs on the line, so to speak.

I can only hope what they see in Andre's boobage, Anthony Collins' six games of starting experience and Luigs' year-old Remington Award is enough to keep Carson upright, Benson clean, and Chad celebrating.