Former Buckeye standout Billy Price is getting another chance in the starting lineup this afternoon with the Cincinnati Bengals following injuries to a pair of fellow offensive linemen, Trey Hopkins and B.J. Finney.
The 2018 first-round pick had assumed a backup role to begin the season, but entered last week after Hopkins endured a concussion against the Cleveland Browns.
“It’s very huge for me, and a situation that I don’t take lightly,” Price told the media earlier this week. “It’s another opportunity to get on the field, show your value and prove why I was a first-round pick.”
The interesting dynamic with Price, over the last two years, is that he’s been asked to line up at center or either guard spot (at a moment’s notice) depending on circumstances. It can make preparation feel rapid and challenging.
“Right now, I probably feel a little more comfortable at guard,” Price mentioned. “But again, playing center is like dusting off the cobwebs (from my rookie year). Whatever is needed that week for the team, that’s what I’m ready for…
“During the week, you don’t get a lot of equal time with reps at all spots,” he continued. “Mentally and conceptually, you just have to understand the goal of whatever play is called and then put in work from the technique aspect.”
Price will be blocking for another former Buckeye, quarterback Joe Burrow, when Cincinnati hosts the 5-1 Tennessee Titans Sunday afternoon. The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder long remembers a sequence from half-line pods during a practice at Ohio State… where Burrow was making calls to the offensive line.”
“I remember Taylor Decker getting on him about being able to communicate efficiently,” Price reflected. “Joe stayed even keel the entire time, with his voice at the same level. His demeanor and communication skills allow him to hold down the offense, whether it be a two-minute drill or finishing off a six-minute drive.”
Price blossomed into a 2x All-American while in Columbus, winning multiple Big Ten championships and earning the Rimington Award his senior year as the nation’s top center. He was planning to take the field alongside another former Buckeye, offensive lineman Michael Jordan, but the left guard will miss Sunday's game with an illness.