The Cincinnati Bengals loaded up on offensive weapons this offseason. We have already seen glimpses as new players like Joe Mixon and Josh Malone have made their respective impacts in the Bengals’ early preseason games. But, let’s not forget about the rest of the offensive threats on the Bengals’ roster. Sunday, the Bengals face off against the Washington Redskins in the third preseason game of the 2017 NFL season, a game during which we expect to see a lot more action from the starters and, hopefully, a wide range of contributions from every weapon at quarterback Andy Dalton’s disposal.
“I think we can spread the ball around, get different guys the ball,” Dalton told the media on Thursday. “But, it’s still the preseason. You’re not going to be doing everything that you’re normally doing. I think for us, we just go in there and try to get different guys involved. We’ve got weapons. We’ve got guys who can make plays for us. So, if it happens in the preseason; maybe it does, maybe not. It just kind of depends on how the game goes.”
It would behoove the team to utilize their various offensive weapons as much as possible, so everyone is prepared when the season starts. Although, it really depends on how the game goes. Spreading the ball around is important, but pre-determining how many passes you’re going to throw to certain players is never going to work out.
“With scheme, different things, maybe you’re trying to work on some different things right now that you may use, you may not use during the season,” Dalton said. “It just kind of depends on how the gameplan goes.”
Regardless, the ‘dress rehersal’ aspect of the Bengals’ third preseason game is in full swing. The week is already set up like a ‘normal’ football week, so it’s best to treat the game like it is a normal game.
“Obviously, the way this is set up, playing a Sunday game, we have a normal preparation week,” Dalton said. “Kind of what it’s going to be like during the season. From that standpoint, you’re going about it the same way you do during the regular season.”
One particular offensive weapon a lot of people are excited to finally see is John Ross. He seems to finally be ready to contribute after recovering from shoulder surgery following the NFL Combine. After about two weeks of full-contact practice, now seems like a great time to bring him into the mix after he sat out of the first two preseason games. What better way to showcase his return than in a game where the starters are expected to receive more playing time than in any other preseason matchup?
“I think it will be a good chance for people to see him for the first time,” Dalton said. “And, for him to get some first-game action, which will be good for him.”
In addition to the team and fans finally getting to see some action from their top 2017 draft pick, players like Dalton are excited to work with him on offense. His speed, hands, and ball-tracking ability make him an enticing home run threat and that certainly should add a new, exciting element to the Bengals’ offensive attack.
Dalton seems excited to get on the field for Sunday’s game. And he has every reason to be, considering the plethora of new weapons to whom he can distribute the ball. He expects to play through at least the first half in a game that ultimately means nothing, but will still give him and his teammates a taste of the real action.
“You want to take advantage of the drives that you’re in. The first game I had two, the second game I had three drives,” he said. “Again, we’ve got down there and we’ve kicked field goals. But, we want to score touchdowns.”
Once everyone is ready to play and on the field at the same time, the touchdowns should start coming. Assuming the Bengals’ new weapons pan out as expected, the Bengals could be looking forward to a very potent offence in 2017 and beyond.