Paul Alexander isn’t averse to self-praise, but he’d never go around the NFL broadcasting his skills as a classical pianist. He is, after all, an offensive line coach. “On most teams,’’ he explains, “the last thing you do is tell people you play the piano. It just gives them ammunition to criticize you.’’
Maybe. But who’s more interesting? Someone who can diagram blocking schemes? Or someone who can play Schubert’s “Standchen’’ without missing a note?
It’s the biggest question of Alexander’s coaching life, which has spanned more than three decades and includes time with Joe Paterno, Bo Schembechler and, well, Dave Shula. The Bengals 2017 equation couldn’t be simpler: If Ogbuehi and Fisher are competent, the offense will be beastly. If they’re not ...
“It’s the biggest challenge I can recall,’’ is how Alexander puts it. “If they don’t play good, it’s my fault.’’
Alexander isn’t shy about what he has accomplished. What does he say to Ogbuehi and Fisher, to inspire confidence?
“You’re not gonna fail. I’ve never had a tackle fail. Just do what I ask you to do.’’ Twenty-three seasons of establishing something does have its upside.
“There’s a standard here. You do it this way. You don’t have to worry about anything but doing it this way.
He has also written a book, titled Perform: A Journey For Athletes, Musicians, Coaches and Teachers. I ask him if his linemen have a copy. He says no. “That’d be a little self-serving. They’ve heard most of the stories, anyway,’’ says Alexander.
They’ve heard. Over the next five months, we’ll find out if they’ve listened. Only a season depends on it.
http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/ ... 104532112/
Five sacks allowed in Week 1. We'll see how many were officially on the tackles.