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Andy Dalton emerging as leader for Cincinnati Bengals

  • By Brian McIntyre NFL.com
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Even after a Pro Bowl season, debate over Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton's arm strength, or lack thereof, has persisted this offseason. Dalton demonstrated the ability to air it out during the team's recent OTAs and minicamp, and his teammates have come to the defense of the "Red Rifle."

Dalton's coaches have never been concerned about his arm strength, but according to a Saturday report from The Sports Xchange, Dalton completed less than 40 percent of pass attempts outside the numbers last season with more interceptions (five) than touchdowns (four). To correct that, Bengals coaches are working on improving Dalton's technique and footwork this offseason.

One area the second-year quarterback has already shown improvement, however, is as a leader.

"I think I've done a better job this spring," said Dalton of taking charge of the offense. "If a guy runs a route a little differently, instead of letting a coach do it, I'm going to go over there and talk to him. Last year I was trying to get the next play or trying to do things like that and let the coach handle it (other issues). Right now, I feel like I can go over there and say something, because getting the next play is second nature."

We'll have to wait until September to see whether or not Dalton improves on those throws outside the numbers, but he'll have more credibility as a leader if he isn't skipping balls to his targets.

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