The Bengals offense should look far different from what we are use to from the Andy Dalton era. Even aside from the absence of A.J. Green early at wide receiver early on, there have been noticeable differences in this offense.
The biggest change? Speed.
“I think tempo is a big part of how we want to play. It’s one thing playing fast. It’s another thing getting in and out of the huddle, another thing no-huddle, all the different stuff that we’re able to do. That’s going to be key to our success this year,” Dalton told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “We have the capability to be very versatile. We have a lot of different ways that we can attack a defense. I really like everything that we’re doing.”
This is something we have seen the Bengals dabble in over the years. Of course, Sam Wyche helped innovate the idea of using it beyond the two-minute drill, and the Carson Palmer era Bengals also found success running it at times.
Today’s NFL has put more of en emphasis on having more offensive snaps than your opponent rather than just focusing on time of possession. It seems like a no-brainer, but we haven’t always looked at snap counts as critically as we have in recent years.
Tempo is also great when your offense can consistently move the ball. That is something we will also have to hope Cincinnati will be better at in 2019. Otherwise, the defense will get tired out pretty quickly.
It has been a mixed bag so far for the Bengals success with the new offense and its tempo. Many onlookers have pointed out the offense being inconsistent early in training camp. There have been miscommunications and some bad passes. This isn’t something that concerns the new head coach Zac Taylor.
“Offense our first day in pads, we’ve got to get out targeting straightened out,” Taylor said. “That’s to be expected a little bit. Guys have to think when they’re tired a little bit now that they’re getting beat up. It’s a starting point for us. We’ve got two more padded practices this weekend we’re excited about. We’ll watch the tape and make the corrections and improve on Friday and Saturday.”
It is obviously still very early in training camp. Dalton is likely to have some chemistry issues without his biggest safety blanket in Green being out. Not to mention the entire offense is still feeling out the intricacies of the new offense. This is the time for the offense to workout these kinds of kinks before they head to Seattle in Week 1.
That being said, we have seen some poorly thrown passes from Dalton so far, which includes a few under thrown deep passes along the sideline. That has always seemed to give him trouble during his career.
Luckily, the offense has also shown tons of new ideas to get wide receivers in open space with having them block on play action and then release after play action. Little additions like that should help open things up for Dalton and this offense.
At the end of the day, Dalton is still a guy who is as good as the players and scheme surrounding him, and this offense will be as good as he is able to make it. Your opinion on Dalton probably coincides with your feeling when you hear about early offensive struggles in training camp.
No one is wrong about how they feel, yet. We will have a better idea when the Bengals go out there and actually play against another team.