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The Cincinnati Bengals agreed to terms with Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Alex Cappa on Monday. He played right guard over the past few seasons. 

Cappa won a Super Bowl two years ago with the Bucs and is hoping to continue those winning ways in Cincinnati. 

He’s a strong, technically sound player that should be an immediate upgrade at right guard with some upside. Let’s get into the film and see who he is as a player.

Where He Excels

  • He’s a very strong guard who has the power to move guys with his punch as well as stop players in their tracks. This power allows for him to really dominate players in both the run and pass game. It will be a welcome change for the Bengals. They did not have too many guys with this level of oomph along the offensive line.
  • He has vice like grip strength. When he punches into a defender, he will latch on and be impossible to shake. This along with the power in his punch make for a lethal combination. If he gets his hands on a player they’re finished.
  • He has a surprising level short area quickness as well. His ability to mirror defenders after he punches into them is astounding for his overall level of athleticism. Putting all three of these traits together make it easy to see why he was seen as a high level guard over the past two years.
  • He keeps a good, wide base when in pass protection. This helps him take power from an opponent and anchor. He doesn’t allow his feet to get too narrow so that he could be knocked off balance. He is a technically sound player from the ground up.
  • Cappa does a surprisingly good job at the second level, especially for someone that isn't a great athlete. He takes good angles and then uses his vice grip hands to sustain these blocks.

Areas of Concern

  • His work on stunts was inconsistent. Sometimes he would have a game where he was able to pass them off without issue and other times he would get his center killed by not knocking out the penetrator. He will need to shore this up some if he wants to be seen as a Pro Bowl level guard.
  • He has limited athleticism which does show up on occasion. This could be an issue for the Bengals as it seems they are still going to predominantly feature wide zone as their staple running play. It’s possible with the help of his offensive line coaches that he will become more technically sound at this so that it is not that large of an issue.
  • He will stop his feet when making contact once in a while. This allows for quicker pass rushers to beat him to either the inside or the outside after making contact. He is surprisingly quick in the short area so it’s not a disaster, but if he kept his feet moving on contact he could be even better.

Scheme Fit

Cappa should do OK in Frank Pollack’s wide zone system, although he does his best work when he is trying to move defenders vertically. Because of this, he may be better on some of the Bengals' change-up run plays like duo. He lacks the length that Pollack desires in the pass game, but he provides a lot of the other traits that they are looking for. He should fit in just fine when it comes to the scheme that the Bengals use.

Overall Thoughts

Cappa may not be a game changer at right guard, but he should provide stability with upside. He’s still decently young and is a strong player. His technical savvy will allow him to make up for some of his deficiencies when it comes to athleticism and length.

He is an unexpectedly quick mover in pass protection. He shuffles his feet and stays in good position relative to the defense. To go with that, he keeps a good wide base and can anchor well against powerful players. 

Where he really shines is his hand usage. He has astonishing grip strength and power when he punches. He can dominate players when he gets his hands on them. He gives some concern with his work on stunts and how he periodically stops his feet on contact, but overall he’s a massive upgrade over what the Bengals had in this area.

Cappa will provide some pop in the run game, which is something the Bengals sorely lacked. He displaces defenders and takes them downfield. He does a good job driving on his blocks to keep moving and finishes them with authority. There are some concerns about his athleticism and ability to run on wide zone, but he should provide an upgrade for the Bengals in this area as well.

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