Hue Jackson: "I'm going to be the guy that pushes Andy"

John Grieshop

Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson believes that Andy Dalton can be an elite quarterback, and hopes that he's able to put him in a position to become one.

Let's face facts.

What most fans are concerned about right now with Hue Jackson, isn't a revitalized rushing offense in a division that no longer applies for black-and-blue status -- granted that's more defined for the NFC North, but it sounds cool and gets to the point in a generic context.

What people want to know is, how will Jackson help Andy Dalton and how will the third-year quarterback (entering his fourth season), respond.

Jackson likes what he's seen so far, but wants to push him further.

"Any young man that has won 30 games and been to the playoffs three times has confidence. Now we have to take it and make it even better so that we can push him over the top," Jackson said via "The way I speak will be the way Andy speaks.

The question about Dalton's future will be limited to 2014, when he plays on the final year of his four-year rookie deal. Prior to this season, it's believed that the Bengals reserved nearly $10 million off their '13 salary cap to help with negotiations with wide receiver A.J. Green and Dalton. While Green is an obvious extension, things are a little less clear about Dalton.

Jackson sees more out of Dalton and wants him to reach a level of "elite" status in the NFL.

"I'm going to be the guy that pushes Andy and I think Andy will push himself," Jackson said. "I would hope that my expertise and my experiences and things that I've been through will be able to help him, along with (quarterbacks coach Ken) Zampese, because Kenny’s done a great job with him so far to this point. Now we need to do something a little different to help him get to where he’s called one of the elite quarterbacks in this league."

Dalton's young career is slowly developing into one where he's mostly successful during the regular season but falters in the postseason. Clearly one doesn't break franchise records, achieve franchise milestones, or accomplishes more with names like Ken Anderson and Boomer Esiason labeled as two of the best quarterbacks in team history.

However, until that elusive playoff win is claimed, Dalton will struggle to win over a city that's fledgling their support for him. But it's not like he's the first one to face these questions.

"You go look at some of the guys who are considered some of the best, they didn't win as many games in a three-year period," said Jackson. "Some of them didn't even see the playoffs. This young man has it. What we have to do is make sure that we’re helping him to get it done at the level that we all want."

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