First we debated who should be awarded rookie of the year between Cincinnati's two rookies in Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. Now we're going to reflect on Jay Gruden's comments about Jermaine Gresham where the offensive coordinator said:
"He's just got to continue studying, learn and rep, rep, rep, rep and rep. He's just got to mentally get into it and see the looks. He's very raw. He's never done this type of thing before where option routes, reading the safeties, two deep, three deep or whatever it might be. The more he sees the better he's going to be and once he gets it, he will be a dominate force."
Jay Gruden said on Monday that Jermaine Gresham could be a dominant force once he gets it. What's your reaction to that?
Jason: My reaction is this: who the hell was supposed to be making him get it before Gruden came to Cincinnati? Gresham has the athletic ability to be one of the best tight ends in the league and since he's been here, he's really just been used as a quarterback bailout. Near the end of the season I saw that he was being used to stretch the field and if they would do that more often, I think he could be a pro bowl tight end. Hopefully Gruden can make that happen.
Josh: Playing in Oklahoma's system must have hurt his development more than we thought, turning from a receiver/tight end hybrid to a pure tight end that's forced to read coverages and understand what defense are trying to do. But consider this. He played one season under Bob Bratkowski, who was fired. Then there was no offseason with the NFL lockout and like many others who had to integrate themselves into an entirely new offense with new terminology, Gresham had to learn on the fly while developing into an NFL tight end.
Jason: That's true. Hopefully he's a fast learner because I have the feeling that teams are going to assign like 40 defenders to cover Green so Dalton's going to need somebody else to throw to.
Josh: Especially true with the a big offseason question about having a second receiver. Who is that going to be and if it's Jerome Simpson, will he for the love of god catch one football against the Pittsburgh Steelers?! We can all agree that Gresham is talented enough to be that de facto No. 2 receiver -- many tight ends are.
Jason: If Simpson is still on the team in 2012, Gresham better be Dalton's No. 2 receiver. Hopefully the Bengals find a new No. 2 though.
Josh: Still I think Gruden's point is valid, afterall he's the coach and sees him every day. With a full offseason under Gruden's tutelage and some work with Andy Dalton, Gresham could make a tremendous leap in 2012. He has the potential to be discussed amongst the likes of Jimmy Graham, Jason Whiten and New England's tight ends, to name a few. It's kind of exciting and Gruden staying could be one of the top stories already this offseason.
Jason: Yes it is. Gruden staying in Cincinnati isn't just important for Gresham's progression, but continuity will be important for Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. If they switched offensive coordinators after Dalton's rookie season, things might have taken a turn for the worst.
Josh: Definitely stalled development. Having an offseason with Gruden, Dalton, Green will go a long way. And really it's best for Gruden, to continue building his resume and waiting for a great opportunity rather than the first.
Jason: Couldn't have said it better myself.