The Bengals have a lot of pressure on them to perform in 2013 after back-to-back playoff appearances, and the best way to handle pressure is to embrace it. That appears to be the mentality Andy Dalton is taking in his third year in the NFL:
Again, Bengals look loaded. Dalton told me today the pressure couldn’t be greater than what he puts on himself. But there’s a lot on the QB.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 31, 2013
Linebacker James Harrison is undergoing a big transition in his switching defensive schemes after coming over from the Steelers, where he played outside in their 3-4 scheme. Admittedly, he’s not totally comfortable yet with playing on the inside. Harrison has said moving to Mike Zimmer’s 4-3 alignment has been challenging, but not too demanding:
I’m not directly over the tight end. I have to read different things, now. I’ve got centers, guards, running backs. It’s not something like ‘Oh, I’m going to go play inside after playing outside for 11 years in a week.’
Despite the change, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis believes he’s still capable of being a game-changer:
James has been a dominant player on a team with a history of dominant defense. He has made a great number of game-deciding plays, and he brings us help in a position area we had planned to improve either through the draft or with a veteran signing. He will be a physical player against the run and will improve our pressure on the quarterback.