Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, sporting a shiner under an eye courtesy of simulating Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis in practice last week, isn't beating up rookie quarterback Andy Dalton after Sunday night's 27-7 loss against the Jets.
He says he'd like Dalton to get a little more swagger and improve the accuracy on his short passes, but Gruden continues to love his management of the game.
"He's done some things for a rookie quarterback in two weeks that a lot of guys haven't done in their careers," Gruden said Monday. "With audibles and checks and that stuff he's done well."
Some highlights of Gruden's thoughts as jammed in an interview with Bengals.com and The Cincinnati Enquirer during a tight turnaround week that has the Bengals playing their first preseason game at Paul Brown Stadium at 7 p.m. Thursday:
» He thought the blown handoff between Dalton and running back Cedric Benson was a combo error. He says because Benson has a tendency "to vary his tracks" to the line of scrimmage, Dalton has to go a little deeper and quicker to give him the ball.
» He's not happy with Dalton's inaccuracy and the number of dropped passes, particularly by rookie receiver A.J. Green. But Gruden was raving about the route Green ran when he deflected a high but catchable ball from Dalton for an interception.
"The pass he ran against Revis that was intercepted was a hell of a release," Gruden said. "You don't see that all the time against Revis."
» After wide receiver Andre Caldwell caught two balls for 50 yards Sunday, Gruden indicated he felt he was the team's best all-round receiver and sees him rotating with Green and Jerome Simpson.
"Andre is as good a receiver we have when you talk about everything with knowledge and the ability to block and run," he said. "Andre has done a great job for us and he's showing he deserves to be in the mix with those other two guys."
» Gruden also went on NFL Sirius Radio on Monday and he was asked about quarterback Carson Palmer sitting out in hopes of a trade. Gruden doesn't think he's coming back.
"I don't see that happening," he said. "In order to play quarterback at this level in the new system, I would think he would want to practice and obviously he's made a decision very clear that he's not coming back. But if he did walk in I'd welcome him back I'd suppose. He'd have to win the job."