Entering his fifth year, quarterback Andy Dalton has arguably his best opportunity to succeed to date. So will this be the year he takes the next step?
The Bengals have surrounded Dalton with a supremely talented group of receivers and running backs. In addition to four-time Pro Bowler A.J. Green, Cincinnati welcomes back a healthy Marvin Jones, a potential star. And tight end Tyler Eifert, one of the most skilled pass catchers at his position, is set to see extensive action for the first time in his short career. Meanwhile, Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard are two of the best young backs in the league.
The training camp rumors were that Dalton had finally decided to assert himself as a leader and that his mechanics had improved thanks to another summer with Tom House. However, Dalton's limited preseason snaps yielded mixed results. He was perfect against the Giants and the Bears, but struggled mightily against the Bucs. Naysayers (like my co-host, Dr. Hodgie E. Smodgie) will point to the Monday night game in Tampa and say that Dalton still hasn't figured out how to play under the big lights. Meanwhile, others (like myself) assert that the contest against the Bucs revealed very little. The offensive line was not close to being a finished product, and it showed.
In the following video, Dr. Hodgie and I (Dadio McDuck) tell you our opinions on if this will be Dalton's breakout year:
Don't forget to let us know what you think in the poll and comments below!