StripeHype: Bengals Sunday Roundtable
Who do you think will be the Key to the Bengals 2014 season?
Andy Dalton must lead this offense and show that working with throwing coach, Dr. Tom House, was well worth his time this offseason. On defense, I think Vontaze Burfict will need to keep his momentum going from last year and Geno Atkins must stay healthy. Those two players are the heart of the run defense.
I’ve got two names, one obvious and the other speculative. First, Tyler Eifert and Andy Dalton are developing a chemistry this year that is going to create a huge dynamic threat to add to A.J. Green, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and Jermaine Gresham. Don’t be surprised if Eifert becomes Jimmy Graham-ish and puts up break out numbers. My speculative name is Nikita Whitlock. If the Bengals retain BenJarvus Green-Ellis, which I think they will, expect a fullback to get on board. Whitlock comes in as a wrecking ball with great hands and the ability to play defense in a pinch. This guy is this year’s undrafted phenom.
The KEYS for this season are going to be the Coordinators. So far, (through one preseason game, let’s not get overly excited) Hue Jackson has a crisp and ready offense. He needs to control how often Andy Dalton and Giovani Bernard are going to be touching the ball. Dalton had the third most pass attempts last season, and Bernard is relatively small for a running back to be carrying the load. Guenther is going to be under a microscope as the successor of Mike Zimmer. It is going to be very interesting to see how the defense shapes up under his control.
Jeremy Hill. I really want to say the running game as a whole, but to answer the question properly, I’ll say Hill. We know what to expect from Bernard, but his touches will rely on catches also. Hill may have to block for both Dalton and Bernard at times while getting the tough yards. He’ll be primarily responsible for “moving the chains” and getting those red-zone TDs, two huge parts of the