The Cincinnati Bengals have already made one drastic (but necessary move) following their 0-2 start in firing Ken Zampese. Could they make another big change by putting Andy Dalton on the bench?
Don’t expect that to happen anytime soon. Following Thursday’s loss to the Houston Texans, a game in which Dalton once again failed to lead his offense into the end zone, head coach Marvin Lewis gave a vote of confidence to Dalton and said his job is secure.
"No, I'm not worried about Andy," said Lewis.
When asked if Dalton has taken a step back (he has), Lewis wouldn’t even admit to that.
"No, I don't think he's taken a step back. I think we have to continue to let Andy do his thing,” said Lewis. “We've got to do things better around him all the time. Again, we're not good enough today. We didn't play good enough to win on offense and we gave up a play on defense that we can't give up. They didn't give a [49-yarder] today for a score and that's the difference in the game. Same thing as last week. You want to be dominant? Be dominant as the other side."
To be fair to Dalton, he was once again under first for most of the game due to his offensive line continuing to be a complete and utter disaster. In fact, Dalton was one of the few bright spots on offense, at least according to Pro Football Focus.
QB ANDY DALTON, 78.0 OVERALL GRADE
A decisively average performance from the Bengals veteran quarterback. The Bengals had a fairly conservative game plan on offense Thursday night and with the exception of a handful of deep balls, Dalton wasn’t asked to push the envelope. He finished the game with a 76.4 passer rating but when you only look at his accurate, aimed passes (he threw the ball away five times and had another pass batted down at the line of scrimmage and had another one dropped) his adjusted completion percentage was 72.4.
Still, something had to change, and it came in the form of Zampese being fired on Friday and replaced with Bill Lazor. After the move, Lazor spoke with the media, which included a plan for Dalton and the offense going forward.
“As a coordinator, two of the most important things that you have to do is to get the quarterback in rhythm and get the running back in rhythm,” said Lazor. “We’ve got a good number of running backs that will share that right now, but when we have some time this evening and tomorrow to think about that, and specifically on questions with Andy, I think a lot of that responsibility will be mine to make sure we get him going.
“As I said in the very beginning this is, all of us, we all share the responsibility for that — all of the assistant coaches, and the players as well. When we all recognize that and are honest about it, it gives us a chance to do something about it and get better. I have great respect for Andy and I know he wants to be great, so I know he will do just that. He will look at where he can get better and he will work with me.”
We can only hope things will get better for Dalton and the Bengals, because if they don’t, more changes are coming.