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Bengals to push Andy Dalton harder in 2018

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The Bengals must get more out of Andy Dalton to be a playoff team in 2018.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals are not moving on from Andy Dalton this offseason.

However, they are planning to push Dalton harder in hopes of getting more consistent play from their franchise quarterback. This past season, Dalton had stretches of brilliance, but he also had horrific stretches that cost the Bengals dearly in a 7-9 season.

Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor knows he has to get more consistency from Dalton if the Bengals are going to improve next season. Lazor even told Bengals.com that he wants to make Dalton “uncomfortable.”

“It’s how do you coach players?” said Lazor. “You have to push him past his limitations. If you’re always practicing what he does well, then Andy will continue to be what he is.

“If I put him in tough situations (in practice), he can test his limits and grow as a player. I’ll be able to push him and I expect him to be up to the challenge.”

That’s what you like to hear from a coordinator, but it’s something we didn’t hear enough of over the last two seasons, a stretch in which the Bengals went 13-18-1. That was in part due to Dalton throwing for just 3,320 and completed 59.9 percent of his passes this past season, both being among the worst marks of his seven-year career.

Good thing Dalton is ready to be pushed harder by Lazor.

“I’m fine with that,” Dalton said. “That’s how you become better. Bill and I have a great relationship ever since he got here (two years ago). I think that’s why he got the job. Marvin trusts him to do what he has to go to get us better. I think it was tough on him but we were able to get some things done even though he came into it in the middle and it’s going to be great to see what he can do now that it’s his job.”