Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden’s work with quarterback Andy Dalton has paid off for both him and the Bengals over the last two years.
The team has advanced to the playoffs in each of the last two years, the first time they’ve pulled that off in three decades, and Gruden has landed head coaching interviews with other teams. That’s not bad, considering Gruden’s feeling that Dalton needs to get better in every phase of the game and that the quarterback hasn’t started to scratch the surface of his potential.
“And obviously he needs to get better with his deep ball accuracy and touch, and there’s not really one part of his game that he can’t really improve upon. He has to get better in every phase — scramble ability, foot quickness, accuracy, deep accuracy, short, anticipation,” Gruden said in an interview with WLW, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “He’s got a long way to go. He’s done some great things for a second-year quarterback, won a lot of games and thrown some good touchdown passes, but we feel like he has not come close to his potential. That’s our job to get it out of him. And he knows he’s gotta play better, and we all do.”
The deep ball issue is one that has dogged Dalton since his college days and it is one that the team hoped to improve in between his first and second seasons. Their play calling suggests they don’t believe he made much growth in that area, just 37 throws of more than 20 yards, nor does his average of 5.99 yards per pass attempt.
Dalton hasn’t liked hearing the criticism about his arm strength from those outside the organization in the past. We’ll see if he has any thoughts about hearing it publicly from the guy running the offense.