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.
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.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Bengals coaches are as confident in Marvin Jones' health and style of play as you've undoubtedly read in recent days. Receivers coach James Urban is among the most impressed. He told me a couple days ago that this spring was "baptism by fire" as it pertained to Jones. It was all about getting the rust off the wide out by putting him through every scenario he should face this season. Urban was pleased with what he saw, as was Jones. He was quick and crisp in his routes and started sharpening his timing with quarterback Andy Dalton by the end of the minicamp that concluded Thursday.
Health-wise, Jones told me Thursday he has no lingering effects of the foot and ankle injuries that held him out all of last season. He feels perfectly fine and made it through the practices without any issues. I think it's safe to say Jones is back.
Jones was one of our favorite sleepers last summer, but his season was derailed by an ankle injury. His 51 catches for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns resulted in the 3rd-highest FP/T in 2013. He’s poised to surprise if he can prove he’s fully healthy and win the starting job opposite A.J. Green. Mohamed Sanu played pretty well last season but he struggled with drops, and Jones was ahead of Sanu when disaster struck. Both players are free agents after the season, so this is one of the more interesting camp battles to monitor this summer. One thing to note: Sanu only saw an average of 5.2 targets in the 12 games in which Green played, so Cincinnati’s WR2 it wasn’t a high-volume role in OC Hue Jackson’s run-oriented offense. That could change if Jones wins the job, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Saturday, April 4, 2015, 1:44pm
For the fourth time since free agency opened last month, the Bengals have re-signed a player who had left and gone away. On Thursday it was Josh Johnson, quarterback Andy Dalton’s backup from 2013, after he signed a one-year deal that figures to be for near the minimum.
The Bengals were thought to be interested in re-signing 2014 backup Jason Campbell, but there was talk he has been considering retirement and the Bengals moved back to Johnson, a seven-year veteran turning 29 next month.
All signs have been pointing to A.J. McCarron still getting dibs on the backup spot that has been manned by three different players under Dalton.
“I’ve got the green light to do anything and everything I need to do to get back to where I need to be,” Bengals WR Marvin Jones texted Thursday after another workout. “I’ve been surprised at the progress I’ve made in only going on my second week training and at the rate I’m going I’m sure I will be in game shape very soon.”
Jones was one of our favorite sleepers heading into the season, but ankle and foot injuries made it a "lost year" for the talented wideout. Mohamed Sanu stepped in and shined as the team's WR2 opposite A.J. Green. If Jones and TE Tyler Eifert make a full recovery, Andy Dalton will have a nice group of receivers to target in 2015.
Friday, December 26, 2014, 6:53pm
Bengals QB Andy Dalton (illness) was removed from the injury report Friday after taking full practice reps Thursday. Dalton will be fine for a big game against Pittsburgh.
Friday, November 21, 2014, 12:05pm
It certainly would follow Ravens QB Joe Flacco's trend of exploiting bad secondaries this season. In four games against pass defenses ranked in the bottom 10, Flacco has completed 65.9 percent of his throws and has averaged 281.5 yards passing. He has thrown 10 touchdowns and three interceptions for a 112.0 passer rating. The Saints are the NFL's ninth-worst pass defense, and they looked even worse in allowing Andy Dalton to regain his confidence.
The biggest concern with Flacco's inconsistency is he typically has his "down" games on the road. Since the start of the 2013 season, Flacco's passer rating on the road is 73.1, the fifth worst in the NFL over that span.
Green will see a doctor again on Friday according to the Tweet, so we likely won't know more about Green until then. However, it sounds like owners need to prepare to be without him in Week 7. Mohamed Sanu had a monster game with a 10-120-1 line in Week 6. Andy Dalton spread the ball around as Dane Sanzenbacher and Brandon Tate were involved with four catches each and Jermaine Gresham even had six catches and 68 yards. Cincy does have an early afternoon game at Indy Week 7 and it's possible Marvin Jones returns.
The receiver was downgraded to out ahead of Sunday's game.
It's not a surprise in the least that Jones won't see action, as the wideout has missed practice this entire week with an ankle injury. Jones hasn't seen the field this season after suffering a foot injury back in August.
The Bengals will be without two dynamic receivers. A.J. Green is "day to day" after wearing a walking boot Friday and is not expected to play Sunday. Mohamed Sanu will be Andy Dalton's No. 1 target Sunday. Sanu is tied for the team lead in receptions (17) to go along with 234 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Look for the Bengals to also use a lot of RBs Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. Bernard could see a lot more time in the passing game.
Friday, October 10, 2014, 6:13pm
Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe, questionable) missed practice again Friday and is questionable for Week 6. Ian Rapoport reports that Green is not expected to play in Week 6 after meeting with his doctors, though the good news is that HC Marvin Lewis indicated that Green avoided a long-term injury. Mohamed Sanu will be a solid WR3-type play in Green's absence. Brandon Tate and Dane Sanzenbacher will also see increased snaps. It's a downgrade for Andy Dalton, who will be without his primary weapon in the passing game. Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill should see a bump as the Bengals focus on the run game.
Thursday, October 9, 2014, 6:46pm
Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) missed practice Thursday after taking limited reps Wednesday. Ian Rapoport reports that Green is not expected to play in Week 6 after meeting with his doctors. Mohamed Sanu will be a solid WR3-type play in Green's absence. Brandon Tate and Dane Sanzenbacher will also see increased snaps. It's a downgrade for Andy Dalton, who will be without his primary weapon in the passing game. Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill should see a bump as the Bengals focus on the run game.
Mohamed Sanu will be a solid WR3-type play in Green's absence. Brandon Tate and Dane Sanzenbacher will also see increased snaps. It's a downgrade for Andy Dalton, who will be without his primary weapon in the passing game. Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill should see a bump as the Bengals focus on the run game.
Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones missed all but one practice in the preseason and every regular season game rehabbing a broken foot. He caught 10 touchdowns and ranked 21st in the league in yards per route run last season. He finished second on the Bengals with 712 receiving yards while also running eight reverses for 65 yards.
He's expected to return Sunday night against New England.
Likely somewhere in the halls of the Paul Brown Stadium offices the ominous laughter of a mad scientist bounces off the walls.
"Oh yes, I can't wait," Hue Jackson said. "He can run and catch. Not only does he take the top off, he scores a lot of touchdowns, too. This is a fun part about our guys. We have a multitude of different guys that you can use."
The big question is how much does he play, especially with Mohamed Sanu playing pretty well in his place. Jones took part in two practices last week and should practice Monday. Easing him back into practice time comes easier than figuring out his contribution on game day, the story pointed out. The piece also said the Bengals have attempted 11 field goals so far this season, more than any other team, and that Jones quickly developed into a favorite red zone target last season for QB Andy Dalton. It's probably best to wait-and-see but given the state of the Pat's defense coming off Week 4, Jones may have some value in deeper leagues if you need a starter.
He left the game early, and did not return.
An update later in the day said Green is now believed to have a sprained ligament in his foot.
It's also considered turf toe, and the Sunday night reports say Green could be back by Week 5, according to the Bengals Web site. Mohamed Sanu had a big day in Green's absence and Brandon Tate and Dane Sanzenbacher are next up on the depth chart. With Marvin Jones already out, it's a hit to QB Andy Dalton's value as well. The Bengals may end up leaning a little more on RB Giovani Bernard in the passing game with RB Jeremy Hill getting more carries. Both stood out vs. Atlanta in Week 2. Sanu appears to be poised for a busy Week 3 and makes for a sneaky pickup and start. If you pick up Sanu, keep in mind both Jones and Green are now on track to be back Week 5.
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 11:15am
“Let’s stop beating around the bush,” Theismann said in the fourth quarter, via the Washington Post. “Kirk Cousins has played much better at the quarterback position than Robert Griffin III has. Now, Robert is learning to work out of a pocket. He doesn’t look as smooth or as comfortable throwing the football. I mean, your eyes will tell you everything you need to know.
“It’s going to be a decision that Jay Gruden is going to have to make. Right now, Robert Griffin III is his quarterback. Now, if there was a quarterback competition, it wouldn’t be a competition. Kirk Cousins would be the man I believe he would have to go to, because of the efficiency with which he has run [the offense]. Now Kirk, like I said, is basically a drop-back quarterback. I see Andy Dalton in Cincinnati, I see Kirk Cousins that way. …”
It's a topic no one seems to want to bring up around Washington, after all, RGIII is firmly planted as the team's starting QB. But if Washington struggles to start the season, or Griffin takes a hit and has to miss time, it will be interesting to see how it plays out should Cousins get to play under center. We're probably a long way off from that situation, but from a fantasy perspective, Cousins would have a lot of weapons to make him an interesting grab off the wire and play in your lineup...
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