Quarterback Andy Dalton has been a frequent topic of conversation around the Bengals this offseason.
Owner Mike Brown has openly mused about the wisdom of extending Dalton before his contract expires at the end of the 2014 season while others have argued about whether or not Dalton is capable of leading the Bengals beyond the first round playoff losses that have ended each of the last three seasons. Count offensive coordinator Hue Jackson among those who thinks that Dalton can get the job done.
During an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio, Jackson said that he believes Dalton is “on the cusp of something really good,” although that isn’t going to stop Jackson from taking things back to square one with the quarterback this offseason.
“The first thing I want to do with him is go back to the fundamentals that you use playing the game. From how you get under center, how you take the snap, the sense of urgency in your drop, where you put your eyes, how we’re finishing our throws, our progression,” Jackson said. “I think Andy’s going to learn that there’s a time in the National Football League where you have to say uncle and just throw the ball away. The key to quarterbacking in the National Football League number one is winning and he has that trait. Number two is being able to win the big games and obviously that’s the hump we have to get over. I think the guy has the makeup to do it.”
Jackson also stressed the need to develop an effective running game and receiving corps around Dalton to put him in the best possible situation to succeed, something that is occasionally overlooked in criticisms of quarterbacks whose teams don’t win the Super Bowl. The good news for Dalton is they are also often overlooked when quarterbacks get fat new extensions for being at the helm of a winning team, so a deeper playoff run should benefit him even if it comes with a lot of help from other positions.