Andy Dalton is back to zipping the ball. He’s got no restrictions with his throwing thumb; he’s got one visit under his belt to passing specialist Dr. Tom House last month, and after watching two of his most established targets leave via free agency he got one back with a Super Bowl ring and knows Pro Bowlers A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert are already here.
“It would be tougher if it was my first or second year, but this is year six,” Dalton says Monday from Dallas of his revamped receiving corps. “It’s easier for me now than early on in my career. That is going to be fun. We’ve got these guys from the start; we’ve got to get them exactly where we want them to be.
The two guys who lockered next to him and meant so much to the passing game won’t be here two weeks from Monday when the Bengals gather for offseason workouts. Wide receiver Marvin Jones turned down at least the same $40 million to go to Detroit and Mohamed Sanu got No. 2 money in Atlanta when a No. 4 role loomed in Cincinnati.
Friday, December 18, 2015, 6:32pm
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (concussion, out) has been ruled out for Week 15. Eifert’s absence means that A.J. Green and Marvin Jones are a bit more attractive, though the loss of Andy Dalton doesn’t help.
Friday, December 11, 2015, 6:22pm
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (neck, probable) took full practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 14. He’s the #2 TE in the league in PPG, so he’s pretty much a must-start if he’s healthy. His return is a downgrade for A.J. Green and Marvin Jones, but Andy Dalton gets a small bump given Eifert’s effectiveness in the red zone.
Thursday, December 10, 2015, 6:31pm
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (neck) took full practice reps Thursday after being limited Wednesday. Eifert says he is “on track to play Sunday” and was a “full go” on Thursday. He’s the #2 TE in the league in PPG, so he’s pretty much a must-start if he’s healthy. His return is a downgrade for A.J. Green and Marvin Jones, but Andy Dalton gets a small bump given Eifert’s effectiveness in the red zone.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 6:33pm
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (neck) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Eifert says he is “on track to play Sunday.” He’s the #2 TE in the league in PPG, so he’s pretty much a must-start if he’s healthy. His return is a downgrade for A.J. Green and Marvin Jones, but Andy Dalton gets a small bump given Eifert’s effectiveness in the red zone.
Friday, December 4, 2015, 6:28pm
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (neck, doubtful) missed practice all week and is doubtful for Week 13. Eifert is still recovering from a Week 12 stinger. Owners should make other plans. A.J. Green and Marvin Jones may see more looks in the red zone with Eifert sidelined.
Re-introduce yourself to the Bengals’ latest X-Factor because they’ve got a lot of them on offense.
Since 2013, here are Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton’s numbers when wide receiver Marvin Jones is paired opposite Pro Bowler A.J Green:
A 62.6 completion percentage at 7.6 yards per attempts for 41 TDs and 21 picks and a passer rating of 93.2. That’s compared to career numbers of 61.8 percent, 7.1 yards per attempts and an 86.7 rating.
And in games they combine for a TD since 2013, like they did in Sunday’s 28-24 victory in Baltimore, the Bengals are 8-1.
Jones is fast, tough, has great hands and defenses have to treat him almost as delicately as Green. On Sunday’s first drive he made a nice leaping catch on third-and-six when Dalton let him come back for it on the left sideline for a 32-yard play. And his one-handed catch on the last drive down the right sideline when he fried cornerback Kyle Arrington for 31 yards is now a part of Bengals lore.
Friday, September 25, 2015, 7:02pm
Bengals WR A.J. Green (knee, probable) took full practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 3. Green should be fine to face the Ravens. Throughout his career he has been a stud at home, but he’s even better on the road.
Thursday, September 24, 2015, 6:16pm
Bengals WR A.J. Green (knee) returned to full practice reps Thursday after missing Wednesday. Green should be fine to face the Ravens. Throughout his career he has been a stud at home, but he’s even better on the road.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 6:12pm
A.J. Green is the latest game-changing wide receiver to earn a substantial pay raise. With the Bengals' regular-season opener just two days away, the 27-year-old has agreed to a four-year, $60 million extension, reports CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.
Green, who was in the final year of his rookie deal, joins Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant, all wideouts receiving new contracts in the weeks leading up to the 2015 season. Jones signed a five-year, $71 million deal while Bryant and Thomas inked five-year, $70 million deal. The specifics -- like guaranteed money and yearly payments -- of Green's contract remain unknown at this time.
This doesn't have much fantasy impact, though Green should be happy with his new deal.
Saturday, August 8, 2015, 12:58pm
Yes, those are his initials. But they also signify "running back," the position Burkhead has played since he was drafted three years ago, and the one his superiors contend remains his position.
"He's a running back," offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said, smiling.
Added head coach Marvin Lewis with his own grin: "He's not a wide receiver."
"I'm just filling in whatever way I can," Burkhead said. "If something does happen like that in the season, I can hopefully fill that void and not miss a beat with the offense."
Before Jones' absences, the lean receiver had been featured him as the No. 2 wide out opposite Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green. With Jones and Green on the outside, Mohamed Sanu had been getting the bulk of slot receiver duties in base three-receiver schemes.
Perhaps Burkhead is a guy to keep an eye on as camp progresses. The story said although Burkhead still has gotten his share of snaps from the backfield as a true running back, he also has lined up often in this training camp at receiver. Specifically, he's lined up in the slot, where he has been consistently matched up with safeties and corners, and he caught passes after pulling away from them on various routes. With receiver Marvin Jones out the past four practices with a sore hamstring, Burkhead has shifted into a more regular role in the slot.
If Bengals QB Andy Dalton has the kind of year that OC Hue Jackson envisions, it’s because he’ll be a point guard executing some pretty exotic stuff. After his first season was marred by injuries to both starting wide receivers and a starting tight end, Jackson is itching to unload some Xs and Os.
“We're going to open Pandora's box more,” Jackson said. “We tickled it a little bit last year. We're going to open it up a little bit more this year and be who I think we can be…But I tell you what, the defenses are so good, the defensive players are so good and they disguise all the time, why can't we? It's a chess match, and whoever is not afraid to pull the trigger, pull the trigger. And I'm not afraid, so let's go.”
“I tell people all the time -- close, personal friends of mine -- that was probably my best coaching job. To not have A.J. Green. To not have Tyler Eifert. To not have a healthy Jermaine Gresham to start the season. You lose Kevin Zeitler for a couple games,” Jackson said. “We mixed and matched pretty well last year. Not to the best of what we could have been, but we did a decent job. Obviously a healthy Cincinnati Bengal offensive football team has a chance to be very dynamic….If we can stay healthy, some of those hardened times can turn into some good times.”
Jackson went run-heavy in 2014, which is typical of his style, but we shouldn't ignore the possibility that a healthy A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert could lead to the Bengals taking a more balanced approach in 2015. They were the 5th-most run-heavy team last season after finishing middle-of-the-pack in that category under then-OC Jay Gruden the year before. If Jackson does in fact call more pass plays, it can only help Dalton's fantasy prospects.
Monday, July 27, 2015, 9:35am
Based on recent conversations with those inside the Bengals organization, one fact rings true: The Bengals really like WR A.J. Green. They want him to stay in stripes for a very long time, and they believe he will ultimately do that.
None of that should come as a surprise. After all, Green has been to the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons. In those same seasons, he has been one of two NFL receivers to end each year with 1,000 yards receiving and five touchdowns, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The other is Calvin Johnson, the league's highest-paid wide out.
What we do know, the story went on to say, is that Green isn't too concerned about the immediacy of his new deal. Earlier this month, during his football camp for kids around Cincinnati, he said he had no problem waiting until after this season to talk to the team about locking him up long term. Those comments came about a week before Bryant and Thomas got their deals that helped set the market for top-end receiver value. This past weekend, Green echoed his previous sentiments to one of his home state television stations, but he added that he knows his "time is coming." At least the way things stand now, it looks like this won't be too messy of a situation when the time comes to get a deal done and Green will remain a Bengal.
Saturday, June 27, 2015, 11:02am
Harvey: First, I must say, the "if" is a big qualifier. Obviously, every team comes into each new season believing "if" it can stay healthy it has a chance to truly be great. In Cincinnati's case, I really do believe that some measure of greatness can be achieved assuming at least near-complete health this season.
Injuries derailed many of the Bengals' hopes in 2014, with receivers A.J. Green and Marvin Jones, tight ends Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham, offensive linemen Andre Smith and Kevin Zeitler, and running back Giovani Bernard missing significant chunks of the season. Had the Bengals been able to get a couple games back where those players weren't injured, they might have won an extra regular-season game, and perhaps they would have had a better shot in the playoff game at Indianapolis. Because of the qualifier "if," it's hard to guess about the unknown. But here's the thing: On paper, the Bengals are poised to be every bit as good as the 2013 team. That year's offense ranked 10th. Last year's was 15th. The Bengals certainly will be more improved this season.
It's also year two under offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, which should help. Jeremy Hill has emerged as a bell cow rusher and the team expects to have healthy weapons in the passing game. The story added the team better understands how to rotate Hill and Bernard at RB. Where the 2013 and 2015 offenses will differ is in the way that they play. Two years ago, Cincinnati had a pass-heavy system that put a lot of pressure on quarterback Andy Dalton's shoulders. This season, the Bengals will use Hill and Bernard to pace the offense.
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