There's two schools of premeditated thought that currently exists. There are optimists out there that think a deal between the owners and players is so imminent that by this time next Friday, we could be moving into an expedited offseason that might feel somewhat like this.
There's the cautious optimists that would rather wait and actually hear about a deal being done; preventing an investment of joy when in reality, the same thing exists right now as it did over 100 days ago. Players being locked out of the NFL.
What also has existed for the team for some time is that there's a new offensive philosophy in place with a rookie quarterback set to take over. The Mothership captain Geoff Hobson writes about this during his pre-lifting lockout article that defines things the Bengals need to do when the new league year begins.
The lockout would appear to have made the decision final, forcing Dalton to be the Opening Day starter. It would seem the Bengals don't have time to prepare a rookie quarterback in an offense new to the team, never mind two quarterbacks, so Dalton would figure to get the bulk of the now precious camp snaps. There is no veteran like Jon Kitna sitting back there with 27 starts in the same system waiting to mentor a Carson Palmer.
So how do the Bengals get Dalton ready in about 40 days? Crash course? Heavily-edited playbook? How many reps? New offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has been mapping it all out as the days fly off the calendar; he just needs a start date. He's been haunting his office this usually light month as if it's October.