Jay Gruden looking for offense to take “major, major, major steps”


The Bengals offense kept the band together over the offseason, retaining all of their starters after last year’s trip to the playoffs.

That could be a good thing and a bad thing. The positive side is that familiarity with scheme and teammates can lead to better results while the negative is that familiarity will likely breed contempt if the offense struggles the way it did at various points last season, including the playoff loss to the Texans.

Cincinnati also added tight end Tyler Eifert and running back Giovani Bernard in the draft in hopes of avoiding future brownouts, which is likely part of the reason why offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said that he knows the offense must take “major, major, major steps in the right direction moving forward.” Gruden said that he’s seen progress during the offseason work.

“We’re getting accomplished what we wanted. We’ve seen a lot from a defensive standpoint,” Gruden said, via Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Andy [Dalton] has gotten a lot of reps. He’s working through some things and it is only his third year. We’re going back to basics but throwing a lot at him. We’re happy with the progress the offense has made. The thing about our offense is they came back and are willing to work hard, they are all unselfish and have a great understanding of what it is going to take for us to get to the next level.”

The talk about progress is much vaguer than Gruden’s admission about the steps that the Bengals offense needs to take in 2013 and that’s for good reason. We’ve seen the Gruden work with generally the same offensive pieces for the last two years and those results speak much more loudly than any talk about improvement during OTAs. Gruden knows that and he knows the jury will remain out on the Bengals until well into next season.

19 responses to “Jay Gruden looking for offense to take “major, major, major steps”

  1. Unless one of those major, major steps is to escort Dalton out the door, it won’t matter. You might get a chance to go one and done if the Steelers falter at the end of the season again.

  2. They’d have to get rid of the noodle armed ginger first. He just doesn’t have it upstairs or in his arm.

    Step one, admit you have a problem.

  3. Well they’ve been juuust above average the last couple years on offense with a good line, 1 great receiver, average RB and inexperienced QB. Adding the best TE and best RB in the draft should significantly improve the offense. As long as the D doesnt falter off and the O takes some steps we SHOULD go at least further than 1 game in.

  4. we now have a #2 reciever, 2 #1 tightends, and our change of pace back we’ve needed for years. as long as our defense can hold up and hopefully get our 1st round corner from last year on the field, we could be beast. who dey!!!!!!

  5. You guys do realize that Dalton threw for more yards, touchdowns, and had a better completion percentage last year right? Even though he had little running game, 2nd year and rookie receivers he still improved and got them to the playoff two years in a row.

  6. At this point, there really is no way of knowing how good Eifert or Bernard can be in the NFL, but unless he has a breakout year in his third season, we’ll know Dalton’s ceiling is about what we thought it was — average at best.

  7. Add “inexperienced” offensive coordinator (at the NFL level anyway) to that list …

  8. I got news for ya……my “Noodle Armed Ginger” has 1Pro Bowl under his belt, 2 playoff games. And over 50 TD’s in 2 seasons……i’ll take him! And as for the “not much upstairs comment?” Pretty sure he’s mentslly stronger & tougher than 3/4 of the NFL QB ‘s…..1 of them is probably YOURS. HATERS GONNA HATE!!!!

  9. @bengalguy, too bad you can’t trade in those playoff games and pro bowl for a stronger arm and better accuracy. Then you might have something.

  10. @crownofthehelmet you obviously haven’t looked at daltons stats. his completion percentage is pretty damn good. we got to the playoffs with 1 reciever and an ok running game. dalton can only do so much. and even after all that he was one over throw away from beating the texans

  11. As long as Dalton doesn’t regress which I highly doubt there is no reason not for us to expect that they will surpass what has transpired the previous two season..making it to the playoffs isn’t good enough and winning one game isn’t good enough I’m not saying SB but we at least have to sniff at it or coaching changes not players stand the risk of losing their jobs….Gruden should be weary of Hue Jackson

  12. Redpill,

    you took it out right out of my mouth…For those that dont know…Not only is Hue RB coach is “Special Offensive Asst” and reports directly to Marv Lewis…..Now thats interesting….If that isnt a “Gruden take notice cause you may be gone after 13” move then I dont know what is…And you know what! NFL Fans HAD BETTER hope Hue doesnt get his hands on this offense with this talent…. You see what he did in Washington with their RB(great season) and what he did in CIncy with Chad and TJ(best years ever) then took Oaklands offense from 94th to top 10 and finished 8-8 how has Oaklands offense and record been since?????? Hue for OC in 2013 uf Gruden falters and Lewis making sure he doesnt get away this time. Research the team if you want to hate…

  13. Seriously, Bengals should thank Hue for one of the worst trades ever. Last time I checked the Raiders excused him or a reason. They stunk.

  14. They still have Opie Dalton slinging the pig. He will always be the boat anchor of that offense. They should have traded some of those picks they stole from Oakland to go after a legitimate QB.

  15. Hey corny715,
    The Bengals DID thank Hue Jackson for his part in the Palmer trade….They hired him back as a Coach. Also, the Carson trade to Oakland was not a bad idea for Oakland, if they thought more about the talent on the O-Line and WRs. Carson is gonna do very well in Arizona, and Dalton will do even better in Cincinnati. Dalton is a very good QB. The goofy and unsubstantial accusations that Dalton cannot throw a long ball and has very little arm strength is hilarious. His stats have consistently been increasing, and in his 1st two seasons he has lead The Bengals to the playoffs. How many QBs can compare to those facts? Outside of the unpredictable injury factor, The Cincinnati Bengals will be a consistent contender. I don’t predict win/loss or playoff outcomes. It just isn’t my thing….But, I bet that every team that has Cincinnati on their schedule is very very very concerned…starting with the Chicago Bears!

  16. raiderapologist says:
    Jun 6, 2013 9:56 PM
    They still have Opie Dalton slinging the pig. He will always be the boat anchor of that offense. They should have traded some of those picks they stole from Oakland to go after a legitimate QB.

    How did Dalton look against your Raiders last year? Oh yeah…3 TDs and a 109 passer rating. Keep hating, Raider fans.

  17. Not sold on Dalton, but all he needs to do is fix the accuracy of the deep ball. That overthrow of AJ Green in the playoffs was embarrassing. He also has more targets this year. I think he’ll be okay.

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