The Cincinnati Bengals shuffled some pieces around on the offensive line last week, and with both starting tackles injured, left guard Clint Boling ended up kicking out to left tackle.
Boling hadn’t played the position since college, and although the Bengals beat the Lions 26-17 on Christmas Eve, it wasn’t a particularly memorable day for him. He allowed a sack, a hit, and two pressures on the day along with a handful of other losses in pass protection, according to Pro Football Focus.
The next day was more enjoyable as Boling celebrated his first Christmas as a father. His daughter, Emma, was born in October.
Boling, who could end up back at tackle again Sunday at Baltimore, talked about the position change and Christmas with his family in this week’s Cincinnati Bengals’ High 5:
Q: How did you think it went at left tackle on Sunday?
A: It was a little different. Being out there for the first time, it’s a much different spot even though you are just one guy wider. There are things I think I could have done better but overall I was pleased with the experience. I can definitely clean some things up.
Q: You played a little tackle a few years ago, but how much experience have you had there in your career?
A: Yeah, it was a similar situation where we had some guys banged up and they moved some people around. I played right tackle I think for two games (in 2014). I played a little tackle in high school and moved around a little at Georgia. I played both guards, both tackle spots there. Similar thing with guys being banged up and just trying to find the right combinations out there, so I was able to move around. It’s been a while since I’ve played tackle, though.
Q: What is the biggest challenge in making the switch from guard to tackle?
A: It’s just different techniques. There’s more space. Guys are typically smaller, more athletic guys, as opposed to bigger, more physical, stronger guys inside, so it’s just a different game out there. The different techniques have to do with whether you can sit guys down or try to run them by the quarterbacks and those kind of things.
Q: How was your first Christmas as a father? Any special gifts for your daughter?
A: It was a lot of fun. We actually did not leave the house, so it was awesome. We had a good time, stayed in, ate breakfast at the house, cooked dinner. It was an enjoyable day relaxing, watching movies and playing with the little one. She’s just over two months now. She got this little piano she can kind of kick on, so she likes banging away kicking at the piano notes with that.
Q: What do you think about your Bulldogs’ chances against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl on Monday?
A: It should be a fun game to watch. I think it might be Georgia’s first time playing in the Rose Bowl (the Bulldogs beat UCLA in 1943 in their only appearance), so just seeing them in that kind of game, it’s going to be fun. They haven’t won a national championship since the early 80s (1980), so this is the closest they’ve been in a while and it will be fun to watch. The national championship game is in Atlanta, so hopefully they can beat Oklahoma and come back home and win one there.