Around the NFL  

 

Dalton not worried about breaking in new receivers

Print

Once again the Cincinnati Bengals are going through an offensive overhaul with long-time quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese taking over the reins.

Zampese, who had been the Bengals' QB coach since 2003, marks the third different offensive coordinator for quarterback Andy Dalton. Both Jay Gruden and Hue Jackson earned head coaching gigs.

Not only is Dalton breaking in a new play caller, the quarterback lost his No. 2 and No. 3 receiver when Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu signed big offseason contracts elsewhere.

Dalton isn't worried about working with new pass-catchers.

"It would be tougher if it was my first or second year, but this is year six," Dalton told the team's official website Monday about his new receiving corps. "It's easier for me now than early on in my career. That is going to be fun. We've got these guys from the start; we've got to get them exactly where we want them to be.

"I have to make sure they know what I want them to do on certain things and make sure they're in the right spots," he says. "You don't want to have any fall off at all. You want to get better. That's what we're shooting for. We're shooting to keep improving. It all starts when we get back."

The Bengals added Brandon LaFell for veteran depth, but Cincy is a prime candidate to add a couple receivers in the NFL draft later this month.

The positive for Dalton is that A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert return healthy. The duo made up 75 percent of the Bengals' receiving touchdowns and nearly half the quarterback's passing yards last season. Giovani Bernard's usage out of the backfield should also increase as the team breaks in rookie receivers.

The changes in the offense will intensify the importance of Dalton's continued growth after a broken hand ended his best pro season. Plenty of critics pointed to the plethora of weapons surrounding Dalton as the reason behind the quarterback's stellar 2015. Now that some of that talent has left the building, Dalton will have another chance to prove he's more than just a product of his supporting cast. 

Print