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AJ McCarron healthy, hoping to push Andy Dalton

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Last we heard from AJ McCarron, the former Alabama star was battling shoulder soreness that kept him sidelined through the majority of his rookie season.

Finally healthy again, McCarron is eyeing the Cincinnati Bengals' backup job, buoyed by a revamped throwing motion that has made his arm stronger than ever.

After underthrowing receivers last offseason, McCarron is now overthrowing vertical field-stretchers such as Denarius Moore.

"I feel great," McCarron recently said, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Body feels great and I feel like I'm slinging it better than I ever have, really."

Echoing Marvin Lewis' positive review at the NFL Scouting Combine, quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese is excited to work with an improved McCarron.

"We wanted him in our building so bad and it happened and then it didn't happen and now it's happening," Zampese recently explained. "So it's fun. It's delayed gratification, that's all. Now we've got a chance to see where he can take himself and where we can help him go."

Although McCarron is competing with Terrelle Pryor and Josh Johnson for the backup job, he's not shy about his intention to push Andy Dalton for the starting job.

"If you're not going to dream big, then why dream?" McCarron said. "He's our starter, I know that, but I want to make him better in every way that I can. Like I told him, hopefully one day me and him can be retired and look back on it and we're both 100 million-dollar guys. That's my dream."

As we pointed out on this week's "Dalton Scale" edition of the Around The NFL Podcast, Dalton has left the Bengals languishing in quarterback purgatory through four seasons.

It will be interesting to see if McCarron shows enough promise in training camp and preseason action to force the Bengals into a tough decision next offseason.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses Geno Smith and the Jets' QB position and much, much more with special co-host Colleen Wolfe. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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