During Cincinnati's AFC North Championship run, it became obvious that the Bengals passing offense was in trouble. Even though Carson Palmer recorded 314 yards passing against the San Diego Chargers during the 14th week of the season, the franchise quarterback failed to record 200 yards passing in four of the team's final five games of the season; including the team's 14-24 loss to the New York Jets in the Wild Card round of the 2009 NFL Playoffs.
One of the reason's for the team's lack of a passing offense is the weapons surrounding Palmer. Laveranues Coles signed a four-year deal last offseason and was released after only one season, showing a severe degradation in production compared to his previous seasons. Andre Caldwell, the young and talented wide receiver from Florida, spent much of the season struggling to break away from defenders, never recording more than 40 yards receiving during Cincinnati's final ten games (including the playoffs).
Luckily the Bengals identified the passing offense as a needed improvement over the offseason, signing wide receiver Antonio Bryant to a four-year deal worth $28 million on March 10. Developing a sense of balance on offense, with an improved passing offense that includes a talented wide receiver, projects for a more productive unit than last year; especially those times when the passing offense will have to throw caution to the wind and win the game through the air.
[Note: This is the first in a series of posts sponsored by Sprint that will detail the "Game Changing" moves that the Bengals made during the offseason that will have an effect on the 2010 season.]