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Hue Jackson putting pressure on Andy Dalton to be great

Hue Jackson isn't settling for 'good' any more. He wants the Cincinnati Bengals to be great, and it starts with Andy Dalton.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest criticisms of Andy Dalton, as well as the Cincinnati Bengals, has been that he's never seemed to be under any real pressure from the Bengals or his coaches to perform well.

Jay Gruden never seemed to feel he needed to publicly say "Dalton needs to do better."

"Dalton needs to improve."

"Dalton needs to not turn the ball over three times in a playoff game."

That won't be the case under Hue Jackson. With the 2014 season still over three months away, Jackson is already laying the gauntlet down for Dalton to step up his game in his fourth NFL season.

"I’ve been very happy with him. But at the same time we know there’s a long way to go," Jackson said, via "There is still much work to do.

"He (Dalton) wants to be great. He’s not interested in being good anymore. Good has gotten us three playoff appearances with no wins. I think he wants to be great and he’s working at it."

This is exactly what Dalton needs to take the next step if he is still capable of improving his game. For too long, the Bengals have gone out of their way to voice their support for Dalton and compliment his strengths instead of demanding he correct his weaknesses.

For three years, Dalton has been good, which translates into 30 regulars-season wins, but 0-for-3 in the postseason as well.

Now, it's time for Dalton to be great, and it's about time the Bengals asked him to do so.