CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 01: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals warms up before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
was given the following tools last year to help run this offense: a banged-up , a sub-par running game and two unproven receivers. With Dalton being a rookie himself, needless to say, not much was expected from the offense. But as the season went on, and the various talents started to mesh, the offense began to produce.
emerged as a star. made big plays. The offensive line gutted out games when they needed to (especially in pass protection). didn't fumb...wait--what? Even with it's problems and glaring weaknesses, the Bengals offense finished 2011 as a more than respectable unit thanks in large part to the leadership of Andy Dalton.
However, "respectable" leaves a lot of room for improvement in 2012. Andrew Whitworth should be healthy, the running game shifted from the inconsistency--Cedric Benson--to the face of consistency--Mr. Never Fumble,--and approximately no one is worried about A.J. Green. What to do at the No. 2 receiver position is the only real question still facing the Bengals offense right now. And luckily for the Bengals and test takers everywhere, it is now a multiple choice question thanks to the NFL Draft.
Who will be the No. 2 wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals?
Andy Dalton isn't ready to circle his answer just yet, but nonetheless, the whole idea of a young core group of receivers has the second year quarterback giddy with excitement, via Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
I heard everything went really well this weekend [at rookie minicamp]. I'm excited for everyone to get out there and throwing. We've got a good group. It is going to be a lot of competition out there.
Andy Dalton should be thrilled he got to break into the NFL with A.J. Green, a bonafide star in the making. Green bailed Dalton out of rookie mistakes on many occasions, and the two of them together put the team in a place where absolutely no one thought they could go prior to the season--the playoffs. But for the offense to be truly explosive, Dalton needs more than just one receiver he can count on. One, or both, of these two rookies may become that guy. Even fellow position competitor Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com writes:recognizes the ability of Sanu and Jones.
"They're both real good. They bring different things to the table," Binns said. "Marvin's a lot quicker, a lot longer, and I think Mohamed's just a big physical receiver that can make all the catches."
Binns, Sanu, and Jones will all make their case for becoming the starting wide receiver, and it's exciting to know the position will ultimately go to the player outperformed all the rest. Andy Dalton just can't wait to see what these receivers can do either.
"It's been awhile since we've done a lot of team stuff," he said. "Right now we're just throwing to the receivers. I'm excited for us to get out there and work."