After a weekend tryout with the Buffalo Bills former UB Bulls quarterback, Joe Licata is heading down to Cincinnati for a tryout with the Bengals. The UB record holder is entering a crowded camp, as noted by the Cincy Jungle, SB Nation's home for Bengals' fans.
The Bengals starter is likely going to be Andy Dalton and behind him is AJ McCarron. Last year's practice squad QB Keith Wenning may also be in the mix.
If Licata proves good enough for a contract he will be competing against Wenning and the very familiar face of Bowling Green's Matt Johnson for the role of practice squad quarterback. He will need to lean on his smarts and work ethic to dislodge either player from the job.
Johnson has already looked good with the Bengals. Cincy coach Marvin Lewis has already talked up Johnson during press conferences.
"He has a very strong arm. The ball is coming out at a pretty good release point. He is used to functioning that way. Obviously, to do that in the National Football League, you are going to have to adjust to him a little bit if he's your quarterback, and that's fine."
What made Licata so effective at Buffalo was his football IQ and composure in the pocket. He was able, many times, to stand in the pocket and deliver throws to his receivers under duress. While not anywhere near a dual-threat quarterback he did show the ability to buy a little time with his feet.
I had thought the Bills were a much better spot for Licata. The Buffalo depth chart has just two established quarterbacks and their fourth-round pick from Ohio State, Cardale Jones. At the very least it would have made sense for the Bills to bring in an arm to challenge Jones until the first series of cuts but the team seems intent on the Buckeye's quarterback as their project.
Follow Bull Run and Cincy Jungle to keep up with Licata in camp.