CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Bengals
quarterback Andy Dalton
laughed when asked if accuracy on the deep ball had been brought up during the Bengals' offseason workouts. In short, he has heard about it almost every day.
That is why on Tuesday's first day of OTA's, Dalton aired it out on a go route to A.J. Green with Terence Newman
Said Dalton of that first pass: "Urb (receivers coach James Urban) came up to me and said you already know what the route is, so I knew it was going to be a go ball. Had to set the tone for how it's going to be."
The pass to Marvin Jones
later in the session, though, might have been the nicest of the day. Jones was able to get a couple steps on defensive backs Taylor Mays and Adam "Pacman" Jones as Dalton managed to lay it in there.
Even with those throws, doubts about Dalton being able to consistently throw it deep won't subside any time soon. That is why it has been a focal point during the offseason workouts.
Of balls in the air 20 yards or more last season, Dalton posted the fourth-lowest rating among 19 AFC quarterbacks at 52.9. He was 19 of 73 for 633 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions. The 73 attempts were the fifth most in the conference.
Quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese has been working with Dalton on refining the trajectory and accuracy.
They have also been working on quickening up the time Dalton drops back in the pocket along with throwing the ball a little higher on different throws. Both Dalton and Zampese said they have already seen improvements.
"It's good to come in and hit some of these. I thought we did a good job," Dalton said. "The receivers are out there running well and we've got a lot of guys making plays. That's what you expect."
Another thing that will help Dalton this season is that he has more intermediate and deep targets. Green for the past two seasons has basically been the lone deep target, but Jones has potential to stretch offenses and first-round pick Tyler Eifert excels on the intermediate stuff. Mohamed Sanu has also shown some ability on deep routes.
While most of the attention on the deep ball has been focused on Dalton, Green tried to deflect some of the criticism and noted that it was up to the entire offense to work together.
Said Green: "I can run them better. Give him a better target to throw the ball. It's on my part, too. We're both going to get better each practice. That's the big focal point coming into OTAs."
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