Snaps Lost: Cincinnati Bengals
The “Snaps Lost” series is a detailed look at the playing time void created by players that have left each team this offseason, whether they were traded, cut, left in free agency, or retired.
Because each unit plays a different number of snaps over the course of the year, we have created the “Full Time Equivalent” metric. FTE is the total number of missing snaps divided by the number of plays the team ran on that side of the ball. This is an equivalent measure of how many full time players (100% snap count) the team would need to add on to make up for their offseason losses, even though very few players actually play a full snap count.
For example, if a team had 1,100 snaps on offense and then lost seven players who combined to play 2,200 snaps, their FTE would be 2.0 (2,200/1,100). This ensures that a team who lost a high volume of players only has a high FTE if those players racked up some significant playing time. FTE can only fall between zero (no players left the team) and 11 (fire everyone!) for each side of the ball.
Each team will have a ranking following their FTE, with the first-ranked team in each category (offense, defense, and total) representing the team with the smallest portion of their playing time in need of replacement.
A few caveats before getting into the good stuff:
– Suspensions and injuries that may limit 2015 snap counts are not considered.
– Biggest Losses are purely in terms of snap count, not necessarily in terms of impact.
– All snap counts are Regular Season only.
Overall FTE Lost: 3.29, 3rd
FTE Lost: 1.94, 12th
Biggest Losses: Jermaine Gresham (900), Mike Pollak (450), Marshall Newhouse (373)
Summary – Pollak did a respectable job filling in last year along the offensive line, but if Cincinnati can stay healthy up front, his loss shouldn’t mean much. Losing Newhouse can be chalked up to addition by subtraction, as his -11.6 grade in 373 snaps won’t be missed.. Gresham is the only major contributor here that won’t return, but after five rather underwhelming years with the team a change of scenery is probably for the best.
Replacement Plan – They went tackle early and often in the draft, so the Bengals acquired solid depth with both Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher. Pollak’s snaps can be accounted for by full seasons from Kevin Zeitler and Russell Bodine. Gresham almost certainly wouldn’t have hit 900 snaps last year if 2013 first-round pick Tyler Eifert hadn’t suffered a brutal elbow injury in Week 1, so look for the young tight end to become a full-time player in 2015.
FTE Lost: 1.35, 5th
Biggest Losses: Terence Newman (883), Robert Geathers (604)
Summary – The Bengals’ third place in overall ranking for FTE is in large part created by keeping nearly their entire defense together. Newman was a reclamation project who put forth a few solid seasons despite getting up there in age, and at 36, the Bengals allowed him to walk. Geathers was cut after contributing to one of the least effective pass rushing units last year, turning 604 regular season snaps into just 22 total pressures.
Replacement Plan – This one’s pretty cut and dried. One year after signing a big deal in Tampa, Michael Johnson returns to Cincinnati. He posted a -12.6 grade over is brief stint for the Bucs, but if his past work with the Bengals is any indication he’ll be a massive upgrade on Geathers. The absence of Newman will give Dre Kirkpatrick every opportunity to lock down the starting role, something they’ve been planning for him since spending a first-round pick on the Alabama product back in 2012. Should he struggle, Darqueze Dennard and Josh Shaw will be waiting in the wings.