The Bengals aren't expecting AJ McCarron to do much in 2015 other than backup Andy Dalton.
That doesn't mean McCarron isn't preparing as if the starting spot is on the line, and he's excited to show everyone what he can do now that he's finally healthy.
McCarron feels like a completely different player than the one the Bengals saw last year who was recovering from foot and shoulder injuries.
"I’m excited to finally show them what I can do when healthy. How I can play the game," McCarron said via Bengals.com. "They haven’t seen the guy they drafted. I feel like I’m a totally new person, even from the time they saw me at the end of last season. I feel like I’m throwing a much better ball. Quickness with pop on it."
In order to get better, McCarron is spending time with Dalton's QB tutor, Tom House in California, and he's already seeing the benefits.
"He showed us some things that helped quicken my motion and so my front shoulder wouldn't fall away from the target," McCarron says. "It helped tremendously. It’s what they call opposite and equal arm. I was falling off that and my arm was lagging behind. Now I just kind of stay more into it and stay more square at the end. My arm doesn't fly open. It’s a little more compact and I feel quicker."
When McCarron is back home in Alabama, he isn't resting as he works with South Alabama QB coach David Morris, who has worked with McCarron since high school.
"In the past there were times I had to call him and say, ‘Hey man, what’s the deal? Are we going or not going?’" says Morris, who has worked with McCarron since he was a high school freshman at St. Paul’s Episcopal School. "This offseason he’s been the one reaching out predominantly. He’s hungry. He’s got a lot to prove. He’s a guy that’s had a lot of success in his career. What’s really impressive about him is that he’s never been impressed by success. He just likes to compete."
McCarron is facing an uphill battle just to stave off veteran signal-caller Josh Johnson, who's already had one stint in Cincinnati as Dalton's backup. It looks safe to say though he's doing everything in his power to not only win the backup job, but be prepared to be thrown into the fire if Dalton goes down.