Bengals Andy Dalton And A.J. Green Looking To Improve Deep Pass

Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

The Cincinnati Bengals offense has shown to score points in bunches, but also reaches patches of struggles that would make Jay Bruce cringe. Cincinnati wants to get back that deep ball that was so effective in 2011.

According to Pro Football Focus, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton attempted 45 passes to wide receiver A.J. Green that traveled 20 yards or more. Only 13 of those passes were completed (one incompletion identified as a drop), posting 519 yards receiving. The result is a noticeable drop from their respective rookie seasons in 2011, where Green caught 44.4 percent (16/36) of those targets surpassing 20 yards, nearly double the completion rate from last season.

Deep Left (20 yards) Deep Middle (20 yards) Deep Right (20 yards)
2012 2/13, 82 yards, TD, INT 2/8, 121 yards, TD 9/24, 316 yards, 2 TDs, INT
2011 0/3, INT 8/7, 258 yards, 3 TDs 9/25, 320 yards, 2 TDs, 4 INTs

It's something that Green and Dalton want to improve, writes Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer.

"We missed some stuff on the deep ball so we both have to work on that," Green said. He also noted that there weren't that many deep passes as there were in 2011 because defenses played them differently but he did agree that "sometimes you have to take chances."

Green has been reportedly working out with Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, as well as Denver Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas and former Bengals receiver Andre Caldwell.

Dalton has spent the offseason reviewing extensive film with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

"I've watched a lot of Green Bay's offense and I've watched a lot of the Saints' offense because they have two of the best quarterbacks in the league," Dalton tells Dan Hoard at Bengals.com. "To see what they're doing – how they're getting their completions and how they're scoring their touchdowns, and what mistakes are they making. Are they forcing the ball on their interceptions…are they taking chances…what are they doing?"

Hoard draws a comparison using Brees' first two seasons in the NFL as a reference for a (hopeful) third-year growth spurt.

Dalton: 629-for-1044 (60.2%) 7067 yards 47 TD 29 INT 83.9 passer rating
Brees: 525-for-882 (59.5%) 5392 yards 28 TD 31 INT 73.1 passer rating

"I'd love for my career to end up like their careers have ended up. You want to study those guys and see what they're doing right. Not only mechanics-wise, footwork, whatever it is, but also offensively what are they doing. Our offenses are similar – we're doing a lot of the same stuff that they're doing – it's just how they're putting points on the board."

Save for a backup, change of pace running back and maybe a new right tackle, this is what we have on offense. This is the team that will be on the field during opening kickoff.

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