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Andy Dalton steps up his leadership game

Andy Dalton, Jermaine Gresham AP

The right arm of the red-headed Bengals quarterback has been treated like the proverbial red-headed stepchild this offseason.

Debate about the strength of Andy Dalton’s arm has been a recurring theme, even though Bengals coaches and players all express confidence that Dalton has enough oomph to make every throw he needs to make in the Cincinnati offense. All of the conversation is interesting up to a point, but we’ll need to see Dalton on the field to know if he can improve on 19 of 49 for 558 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions on throws outside the numbers in his second season.

Arm strength isn’t everything for a quarterback, though, and Dalton is trying to make sure there won’t be any deficiencies in other areas. Leadership is one area where Dalton feels like he’s making strides this season.

“I think I’ve done a better job this spring,” Dalton said, via the Sports Xchange. “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. Right now, I feel like I can go over there and say something, because getting the next play is second nature.”

A.J. Green, the other big 2011 addition to the offense, has also talked about being more of a leader on the team this season. It seems odd to have two second-year players serving as the wise old sages of the offense, but the Bengals don’t have much choice. With BenJarvus Green-Ellis replacing Cedric Benson and a blank slate at receiver behind Green, the Bengals will need all the leadership they can get from the two young guns.

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12 Responses to “Andy Dalton steps up his leadership game”
  1. joetoronto says: Jun 18, 2012 11:05 AM

    Does anybody else think this guy’s gonna bomb this year?

    The stage is all set for a big time header.

  2. 561bengal says: Jun 18, 2012 11:18 AM

    Andy Dalton will lead the Bengals to the Superbowl.

  3. west459 says: Jun 18, 2012 11:32 AM

    Andy will do fine this year. Yes there will be more pressure but a full offseason will help. Super Bowl – not yet, deeper in playoffs yes but remember they do play in the toughest division in the NFL so if we can at least match last years record and beat the evil Ravens and Steelers – well I’ll be happy. Remember it took the Cowboys back in the early 90s 3 years to make the playoffs when Aikman became their quarterback and we did it with Andy in one year.

  4. CKL says: Jun 18, 2012 11:37 AM

    I enjoyed watching the Bengals play last year, just a nice solid team. I like that Dalton/Green combo for years to come. Dalton may never be elite, but I think he’s very capable.

  5. xtb3 says: Jun 18, 2012 11:53 AM

    Overated! Bad QB will be exposed bigtime this year!

  6. t8ertot says: Jun 18, 2012 12:04 PM

    joetoronto
    Jun 18, 2012, 11:05 AM EDT
    Does anybody else think this guy’s gonna bomb this year?

    The stage is all set for a big time header.

    ————————-

    Of course you feel that way Joe. You never pass up the opportunity to bash the Bengals.

    I’d take Dalton over half the qb’s in the league. He’s already passed Flacco in the division.

  7. Vegas Guy says: Jun 18, 2012 12:16 PM

    You never hear about Cincinnati having a lot of “franchise” type veterans. Mostly you hear ab0ut Veterans on their last legs or like Andy/AJ second year players trying to step up and be leaders. Willie Anderson is one of the exceptions to this but even he got the boot when he lost half a step.

    (FYI: This is all about money)

    Andy/AJ should be able to get them into the playoffs again this year. Maybe even AFC Championship but that’s probably where they’ll peak. Next year they’ll have another solid year and then the year after everything will collapse in contract negotiations.

    At least that’s the pattern for Cincinnati for the last 25 years.

  8. kscott91685 says: Jun 18, 2012 2:52 PM

    Andy will perform better this year. Having a couple more receivers to help AJ will do wonders for this offense. Jerome Simpson was the only other threat to their offense. And nothing against Jerome but I’m more confident with the Sanu. Plus Shipley should be back and healthy. Benson being gone could be a blessing also. Green-Ellis and Bernard Scott sharing carries could really open up a lot for Mr. Dalton. Not to mention a first round pick on the offensive line. Even if Andy plays equal to last year and not better the team could be a lot better.

  9. ostywithstripes says: Jun 19, 2012 10:18 AM

    In response to someone saying Dalton is overrated doesn’t make much sense. Even all Bengal fans who watched every game last season know that great defense, solid special teams and a fantastic number 18 made the bengals win 9 games. Dalton played smart and hard, never giving up and making good throws at big times. Cincinnati is about to go wild this fall.

  10. steelersownyou says: Jun 19, 2012 11:56 AM

    Steelers and ravens are unimpressed. Both teams sweeped you! Equals OWNED!

  11. pooflingingmonkey says: Jun 19, 2012 12:43 PM

    steelersownyou says:
    Jun 19, 2012 11:56 AM
    “Steelers and ravens are unimpressed. Both teams sweeped you! Equals OWNED!”

    I bet your English teachers feel the same way about you.

  12. thetruth323 says: Jun 19, 2012 2:34 PM

    Does anybody else think this guy’s gonna bomb this year?

    The stage is all set for a big time header.

    The stage is set for another Pro Bowl year and a division title for the Bengals. I can’t wait to watch them go into Baltimore on September 10th and absolutely b&*tch slap Fluko and the Ravens. I’m thinking a 24-3 smack down, Who Dey!

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