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Hue Jackson backs Andy Dalton; Also stresses Improvement

Hue Jackson believes in Bengals QB Andy Dalton, but he also knows the fourth-year signal caller has to improve going forward for him to be counted on.

Thearon W. Henderson

The story of the Bengals offseason is the contract status of quarterback Andy Dalton. With one year left on his rookie deal, the team appears prepared to sign him to a long-term extension that will ensure he's the franchise QB for years to come.

So far, owner Mike Brown has made comments suggesting he's not completely on board with giving Dalton a long-term deal that pays him $10 million+ annually, while head coach Marvin Lewis has stated he believes in Dalton and a deal needs to get done ASAP.

So what does new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson think?

"He's on the cusp of something really good," Jackson said during an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday morning. "The key to being a quarterback in the National Football League No. 1 is winning, and he has that trait. No. 2 is being able to win the big games. Obviously, that's the hump that we're trying to get over.

"The guy has the makeup to do it. What I've got to do is just continue to push, prod, pull, motivate, support him and the rest of this offensive unit, and then we've got to pick up the pieces everywhere else to give him a chance to do his job. If we do that, this young man will be right where he needs to be."

As Hue said, he needs to push Dalton a lot harder in 2014 than Jay Gruden has for the past three seasons. that may be the key to Dalton taking that next step and becoming a more consistent QB.

That's been his issue more than anything.The good Andy Dalton is as good as anyone. This was on display when Dalton was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for October, only to follow that up with one of the worst months of his career in November.

Hopefully, Jackson can find away to bring out the October Dalton for all 16 games in 2014.