In honor of the estimable Peter King and the relentless Lance McAlister, here are some things I think I believe after the first phase of the Bengals training camp.
I Think I Believe they are thrilled with what new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has done with quarterback
Yes, it is just practice. Yes, Dalton went against the backups Saturday when he lit them for 17 of his first 19 passes and there was again no pass rush when he was 16 of 19 on Thursday.
But what is the one thing we know? That it is going to be the offense that either takes or doesn’t take this team to the big game because everything else is in place. And we know they need to cut down on turnovers, run the ball more, and make Dalton more efficient in yards per pass and these are the things being worked on and emphasized. Which has to make an offensive-minded owner quite happy.
The way Dalton has responded in this summer of shove, between all the criticism and his contract negotiations, is quite admirable and is another reason why they should extend him. Try and find another quarterback that goes 30-18 with 80 TDs and three post-season berths. It’s not the price of the quarterback. It’s the price of finding one. I give you the decade-long-plus angst of Cleveland, Tennessee, Oakland, and Jacksonville.
I Think I Believe that Jackson has helped make Dalton look easier back there.
I’m not sure why. It seems like he’s giving him fewer options in an effort to make him more decisive. And he seems to be operating in a wider pocket without having as much traffic up the middle.
I Think I Believe Dalton plays no more than eight to 10 snaps in Thursday’s pre-season opener (8 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) in Kansas City. Not without Whitworth,
I Think I Believe the one thing that really worries them on offense is the inconsistent snapping of rookie center
I Think I Believe that second-year wide receiver
I Think I Believe the best roster competition is at wide receiver. If Hamilton is in, then which of the two is left standing among
I Think I Believe people better not forget about the Bengals defense.
Look, I’m with you. I’m a little concerned they’re bringing along
Still, remember they still finished No. 3 in defense without him for half the season and the first phase of camp has shown they’ve upgraded in the secondary with the return of cornerback
I Think I Believe they’re going to be just fine up front even though they’ve lost right end Michael Johnson.
It’s so hard to tell about defense before they play games, but the way they are rotating these guys up front they always seem to look fresh and fast. The draft room should stand up and take a bow every time the defensive line takes the field.
They may be able to keep more linemen than usual if rookie quarterback A.J. McCarron (elbow) isn’t ready for the start of the season and they keep just two quarterbacks.
I Think I Believe I know the answer to the gag, “What day in September is Chris Crocker going to show up? ‘ He’s already here. He was here in April. But he’s changed his name to
Manning is two years younger than Crocker and has many of the same attributes and versatility. In the last week you could see him starting to look comfortable in the defense and look healthier after missing double-digit games with a broken leg last year.
(Note his pick six of
That’s a pretty good battle between him and incumbent
I Think I Believe guard
They seem to really like Hewitt, who played tight end, H-back and tight end at Stanford. Especially after he made the switch from tight end to fullback last week with nary a blink and held his own on the goal-line stuff. Hopkins, out of Texas, may be able to play only one spot, but they like his movement skills for a big man.