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Andy Dalton: No excuses for offense this season

Andy Dalton AP

Since the draft started on Thursday, the Bengals have re-signed tackle Andre Smith and drafted four skill position players and three offensive linemen.

That’s made for an offense that looks considerably different from the one we saw when the Bengals last took the field and it will raise the expectations on a unit that sputtered to defeat against the Texans in the playoffs. That’s not just an outside perception, either. Quarterback Andy Dalton feels the same way.

“Well, there shouldn’t be any excuses,” Dalton said, via the Bengals website. “The players we already have and adding these guys is just going to make the offense better. So I expect us to take the next step, I expect us to improve from where we were last year. Time will tell, but we’ve got the right attitude going in and the way we’ve been working, I don’t expect any less.”

Tight end Tyler Eifert and running back Giovani Bernard are the most intriguing additions to the offense from the draft. Eifert should give Dalton a weapon that makes it harder for defenses to sell out against A.J. Green in the passing game while Bernard is the kind of multi-talented back that the Bengals have been missing in the backfield for the last couple of years.

We can’t know right now what the new additions will mean for the Bengals offense once the season gets underway. If it isn’t a better unit than the one that flamed out in Houston, you can be pretty sure about who will be the guy held to the fire. It’s Dalton and his third NFL season is setting up to be a pretty defining one for his career trajectory.

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22 Responses to “Andy Dalton: No excuses for offense this season”
  1. shaunypoo says: Apr 29, 2013 3:03 PM

    You can bang on Dalton all you want, but he realizes that this is a make or break year for him. The whole team is young around him and they are going to have to start signing some of these guys to bigger contracts next offseason. If they don’t win a playoff game then expect to see the Bengals try to trade up to take another QB in the first round. Another CB, a big time safety, and a franchise QB are the main pieces they are lacking to go deep in the playoffs. Dalton can erase the perception that he isn’t a franchise QB this season with the weapons they have put in place.

  2. nbooat says: Apr 29, 2013 3:04 PM

    Waiting for a brilliant comment by joetoronto about why the Raiders are great and the Bengals suck…You Raiders fans are embarrassing yourselves trolling on Bengals posts…We fleeced you with Palmer, we beat you during the season we were 10-6, you were 4-12, and you still don’t have a QB..We’ve been to the playoffs 3/4 years in a much harder division…Just admit it, you are jealous

  3. ridnaway says: Apr 29, 2013 3:05 PM

    AD and this offense are now loaded with skill players. Pro Bowlers don’t miss wide open receivers in the end zone Andy. And now you have a tight end who can catch the ball.

  4. sellout1983 says: Apr 29, 2013 3:08 PM

    Bengals fans have been waiting a long time for moves like the team made in this years draft. Since 2009 Cincinnati has built to this years draft and finally have the pieces in place to compete sustainably. Hopefully this years draft is the final push this team needs to tip the balance of power to Cincinnati in the AFCN. WHO DEY!

  5. shaggytoodle says: Apr 29, 2013 3:12 PM

    That’s until injuries start to occur.

  6. jdphx says: Apr 29, 2013 3:14 PM

    Make or break season for sure…

    LOTS of QB talent available next year!

  7. goon698 says: Apr 29, 2013 3:16 PM

    No more excuses for Dalton. If he does not deliver this year by winning at least a playoff game, it is very possible the Bengals may draft a QB in the early rounds next year.

  8. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 29, 2013 3:22 PM

    He didn’t say “no excuses”, he said there “shouldn’t be any excuses”. Subtle, but meaningful difference.

  9. andrewproughcfe says: Apr 29, 2013 3:32 PM

    If Dalton would stop telegraphing his throws by locking on to his receivers, the Bengals wouldn’t need excuses.

    Unfortunately, so far in his career he’s just been a clutch-time interception waiting to happen when he’s faced the better DB’s in the league, like Ed Reed.

  10. si1m says: Apr 29, 2013 3:34 PM

    Its hard to look at anything Dalton has done and believe he can take them all the way.

    He will eventually luck into a year where the team stays unusually healthy and the Steelers/Ravens have a down year allowing them a division crown for once but that’s much like the Palmer era. Good enough to win the division once every 5 years, but not make the AFC title game.

    he has a better floor than most but his ceiling is very low

  11. mikebrownfaux says: Apr 29, 2013 3:35 PM

    IT’s very true, it’s a do or die year for Dalton. The problem is, NFL Franchise QB’s aren’t a dime a dozen, and banking on a 2014 rookie QB to deliver better than Dalton is wishful thinking at this point. Could it happen? Sure? But based on what I’ve seen thus far, Daltons “career trajectory” has him on track to be a very Tony Romo like guy, and we all know what Tony just recieved from the Cowboys. Like it or not, if Dalton just keeps doing what he’s been doing it will JUST enough for the Bengals to kee[ him around fearing the market only gives them a worse option, not a better one.

  12. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 29, 2013 3:37 PM

    It’s the curse you carry, Dalton, you human abnormality. Don’t try to soft peddle it.

  13. shaunypoo says: Apr 29, 2013 3:51 PM

    mikebrownfaux says:
    Apr 29, 2013 3:35 PM
    IT’s very true, it’s a do or die year for Dalton. The problem is, NFL Franchise QB’s aren’t a dime a dozen, and banking on a 2014 rookie QB to deliver better than Dalton is wishful thinking at this point. Could it happen? Sure? But based on what I’ve seen thus far, Daltons “career trajectory” has him on track to be a very Tony Romo like guy, and we all know what Tony just recieved from the Cowboys. Like it or not, if Dalton just keeps doing what he’s been doing it will JUST enough for the Bengals to kee[ him around fearing the market only gives them a worse option, not a better one.

    ————————————————

    This is a very true statement. The difference is that the QB coming in will be coming into a situation to succeed, unlike most QB’s who are drafted high by a team with too many holes to fill. The defense is a solid no-name defense with very few stars and a high degree of sustainability as long as Zimmer stays. The offense keeps adding weapons. They sign a few of their top players next year and avoid breaking the bank and they can take a QB in the first round without the pressure to carry the franchise.

    Dalton is a nice QB but he is going to have to take some serious steps to be considered “the man.”

  14. grimmlock42 says: Apr 29, 2013 3:59 PM

    @nbooat:
    Look at you. You throw rocks at our house and then cry wolf when we approach yours. You’re the one going around starting fights and yet you make us look like savages when we retaliate. There are a lot of real Bengal fans here that truly love their team. They don’t go around picking fights and antagonizing other teams for no reason. This team has been through hell and it’s good to see them finally getting over the hump. I got nothing but respect for the bengals and their fans. If you don’t want us in your backyard, don’t come in ours. At the very least, wait for a raider fan to comment negatively about your bengals before you attack them. You barely commented 2nd and already attacked raider fans. Obviously you know you did something wrong.

  15. IBleedBlueBitchez says: Apr 29, 2013 4:09 PM

    @grimmlock42

    Hey Man, when you have a terrible, terrible , terrible organization for as long as the bengals have had, lashing out just becomes reflexive LOL!!!! GO COLTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. raiderinvader says: Apr 29, 2013 4:10 PM

    @nbooat,homie you need to get off the raiders jock.you made silly uninformed comments on and off raiders posts everyday.for someone who is a Bengals fan you sure spend a lot of time sweating the raiders like a middle school girl.get a life.and when you get that life make sure its one that doesn’t involve being a total tool for no reason ! Go Raiders silver and black 4ever

  17. raiderinvader says: Apr 29, 2013 4:12 PM

    no disrespect to the true Bengal fans.most of you are real fans.

  18. tdk24 says: Apr 29, 2013 4:20 PM

    Just the fact that the team you play for is named “Cincinnati Bengals” is all the excuse you need. Hundreds upon hundreds of past players etched that one into stone for you.

  19. cdjjjd says: Apr 29, 2013 4:20 PM

    Bengal fans seems to forget life before 2011:

    Before Dalton/Green arrived the Bengals had a 62-82 record from 2002 -2010 with two playoff appearances. And making the playoffs was more a dream than a reality. And never even a mention about a deep playoff run.

    In the two years since he was drafted the the Bengals are 19 -13 with two playoff appearances.
    Expectations are even higher moving forward.

    The Bengals will be as good as the sum total of all the parts…coaches and players alike. Hoping that Dalton’s career follows the path of a Joe Flaco and he and the team improve year over year.

  20. vincentbojackson says: Apr 29, 2013 4:23 PM

    Eifert better be the real deal. Gresham’s playoff performance last year was flat out embarrassing.

  21. icanthelpitimabengalsfan says: Apr 29, 2013 4:43 PM

    I am a bit surprised at all of the Dalton bashing. The guy is a third year QB who led his team to the playoffs in his first two years. Last I checked he didn’t inherit a juggernaut team coming in. Hell, we were hoping that we would win 8 games in his first season!

    The guy wins games, yes he could have a stronger arm, but realistically how many times does that make a difference in wins and losses? If it did, Gabbert and Ponder would be the class of his QB class and they are not, by a long shot. For that matter Jamarcus Russell would be a SB champ! Dalton is smart and driven, give me him over a very strong armed former Bengal Carson (I quit) Palmer any day.

    Here is something else to consider…Eifert will add to a very deep and talented receiver corps..remember Sanu and Marvin Jones are back as well as AJ. Gruden is sharp enough to create some good mismatches so this could be very fun to watch. My biggest concern is the O-Line…they need to have a much better year than last. However, the addition of a speed back who can catch will help immensely…remember what Ray Rice did to the Bengals?

    In closing, I am stoked…the D will be stronger and the offense SHOULD be immensely better.

  22. rtr2003 says: Apr 29, 2013 7:57 PM

    I know QB rating isn’t everything, but AD was sandwiched between Eli Manning and Flacco in rating. Not that he is as good as those guys, but still, not bad. He was 80.4 his first year and 87.4 last year so there was marked improvement last year.
    His terrible performances in the two playoff games have understandably given the perception nationally that he is mediocre. Anyone who watches the regular season games knows there is more to the story. That being said, this is the year he needs to step up and show what he’s made of.

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