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Bengals hope Jackson Carman is ‘different type of player’ in 2022

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The Cincinnati Bengals seemed to give 2021 second-round pick Jackson Carman a silent endorsement of sorts in free agency this offseason.

There, they addressed three of the four big needs along the offensive line, upgrading center, right guard and right tackle. That seemed to mean the job at left guard was Carman’s to win.

For that to happen though, Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan says the team wants to see bigger things from him in Year 2, as captured by ESPN’s Ben Baby:

“He’s been doing the right things. He’s been taking care of himself the way he’s supposed to. I’m hoping for a really nice jump from his 1st year into his 2nd year.”

“I hope that he comes back and we see a different type of player than we did his first year — mature, better, stronger, all those things.”

Carman struggled to get on the field at all last year for one of the league’s worst offensive lines. Some of that stemmed from the coaches asking him to work on the right side, while the left side might be more natural for him. Teammates noted he needed help with weight issues when he showed up for training camp, too.

There’s still an outside chance the Bengals use an early pick on a rookie capable of starting at either center or left guard. Current new center Ted Karras can play either spot. That would leave Carman as a primary backup as a sohomore.

But based on the comments from Callahan, Carman’s already on the right path during the offseason after learning as a rookie. If so, a second-year leap while consistently starting could be what ends up happening.

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