Yet another reason why the rushing game will be improved this year is the expansion of the passing game. Andy Dalton has a year under his belt, and after looking at the tape from the OTA’s, he seems to be in even better shape than last season. There are also new additions this season in the wide receiver corps. Jerome Simpson left for Minnesota and he will be replaced by either Armon Binns or rookie Mohamed Sanu at the second wide receiver position. Both are huge upgrades over Simpson. Another huge addition this season is the return of reliable slot receiver, Jordan Shipley. Shipley was lost early on last season and the team’s passing attack suffered greatly in the short to intermediate routes because of it. Andre Caldwell tried to fill in, but never seemed to be quite on the same page as Dalton. Having Shipley back opens doors for all of the wide receivers this year as well as tight end Jermaine Gresham.
This improved passing attack will help out the running game in this way. They will force defenses to stay honest. It will be tough for defenses to constantly stack eight men in the box to stuff the running game because the passing attack is good enough to beat them over the top. This will force safeties to stay further back in coverage and allow the opportunity for better holes to open up for the running game.