By Joe Kay
AP Sports Writer
CINCINNATI — As a redshirt freshman at Texas A&M, tackle Cedric Ogbuehi got to block Von Miller during practice.
He remembers how it turned out.
“I mean, it didn’t go well then,” the Bengals right tackle said on Wednesday. “I was an 18-year-old kid, he was a top five (draft) pick. So it didn’t go well then.”
Much of the focus on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium will be on how well it goes now.
Ogbuehi will wind up blocking the Broncos’ Super Bowl MVP in only his third NFL start at tackle. The Bengals (1-1) have struggled to protect Andy Dalton and to run the ball during a win at the Jets and a loss in Pittsburgh to open the season.
Up next is their home opener against one of the league’s top defenses and one of its best defensive players.
“He’s a game changer,” said Ogbuehi, who was taken 15th overall in the 2015 draft. “He’s probably the best player right now. It’s exciting for me, a great test to see where I’m at. So I’m really excited for it. That is why they drafted me, to block guys like him.”
Miller remembers him well. At Texas A&M, he nicknamed him “D’Brickashaw” after the Jets’ tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson.
“I told him everything I know,” Miller said during a conference call on Wednesday. “I gave him all my secrets to my trade, so hopefully he forgot a little bit and I’ll be able to get after him this weekend.”
Ogbuehi was still recovering from knee surgery when the Bengals drafted him, expecting him to be ready to start this season. He’s not only learning to play the position in the NFL, but also getting back into playing shape after missing so much time.
Andre Smith was the right tackle last Dec. 28 when the Bengals went to Denver (2-0) and lost in overtime 20-17. The Bengals contained Miller, who had three tackles and no sacks.
Now it’s Ogbuehi’s turn to try to block one of the best. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth compared it to his 2006 rookie season when he had to block the Colts’ Dwight Freeney.
“I think with a guy like Von, there’s going to be some survival mode,” Whitworth said. “Any offensive lineman knows exactly what I’m talking about. There’s a survival mode. You get out there and you just survive, you do whatever it takes, you fight and claw and do whatever you have to win. And it doesn’t have to be pretty.”
Ogbuehi was reminded of what it’s like while watching video of the Broncos’ 34-20 win over the Colts on Sunday. Miller had three sacks, including one where he forced Andrew Luck to fumble . The Broncos returned it for the clinching touchdown.
“That one time,” Ogbuehi said. “You can block him every play, and then give up one sack for the win.”
Notes: TE Tyler Eifert participated in practice on a limited basis for the first time since offseason surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle. … WR A.J. Green was excused from practice to be with his wife as she gives birth. Dalton had a full practice despite a sore hip. … TE C.J. Uzomah missed practice with sore ribs. … The Bengals announced that the home opener had sold out. … Bengals players are subject to fines when they show up late for a meeting, so LB Rey Maualuga couldn’t resist when Marvin Lewis showed up late on Wednesday for a flag presentation to an Ohio organization. “By the way, you were 7 minutes late,” Maualuga told the head coach. To which Lewis responded: “I could just take it (the fine) out of his pile.”