Cincinnati Bengals Q&A: Ask Matt


Feb 21, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cincinnai Bengals coach

Marvin Lewis

speaks to the media in a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

We asked a simple request of our Facebook Stripe Hypers this week. We ask you to suggest some questions that you would like to know some answers to, or get our thoughts on. We had some great questions from a few of our very active Facebook members.

Josh E: How can we add depth and talent to the offense?

Matt: I agree, the Bengals must add depth and improve the offensive line. We saw A.J. Green and Marvin Jones, who missed all of 2014, miss too many games including the Wild Card game against the Colts. We were also missing both Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert, who essentially missed the entire season.

When healthy, the Bengals possess one of the NFL’s best group of offensive weapons, but adding depth and improving the offensive line should be a priority.

The free agent market could offer the Bengals some answers, especially at tight end. I’ve mentioned Jordan Cameron as a good candidate to help the Bengals, especially if Jermaine Gresham leaves.

In several mock drafts, pundits have predicted the Bengals will employ the “best player available” strategy and select Pitt Panthers offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings, who I’ve had the pleasure of watching first hand being from the Pittsburgh area.

Moves such as these would add talent and depth to the Bengals’ offense.

Dennis G: What has Hue Jackson brought to the table since his arrival in Cincinnati? Who has he really helped to improve what they bring to this Bengals team?

Matt: Hue Jackson has helped the Bengals reignite the running game. When Jay Gruden, now the Redskins head coach, was offensive coordinator, he was quick to abandon the run and look to pass. Jackson has sought to balance the offense.

Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill have been two of the Bengals’ most pivotal weapons, especially when Dalton is struggling. In fact, they, together, averaged over 100 yards per game on the ground and the team rushed for over 2,000 yards, something they hadn’t done since 2009; the Bengals are just finding their identity on the ground.  If they can become more comfortable within a balanced offense, it has the potential to make this team a huge threat.

Josh E: What about A.J. McCarron, did we bring him in purely as a backup or a potential starter if Andy Dalton fails?

Matt: I believe A.J. McCarron was brought in to do both. If Dalton struggles in the coming years, McCarron could take over while the same could be said if Dalton suffers an injury.  More than that, McCarron has one significant advantage over Dalton, he has big game experience. He knows how to perform under pressure and has won multiple National Championships. In fact, Tyler wrote about this very situation in one of his articles this week.

That being said, if Dalton doesn’t improve and A.J. McCarron shows something in the preseason or even within limited opportunities during the regular season, I believe he could take the job away from Dalton a la the Drew BledsoeTom Brady situation.  When Bledsoe went down, Tom Brady took over and never looked back. Oh and by the way, Brady was drafted in the sixth round, so it can be done.

Ray MAny chance of drafting a QB, possibly in the fourth round? Would you do it?

Matt: No I wouldn’t. I would pick up a third string quarterback in free agency. Will they? Well the Bengals have made moves that didn’t make sense before, but, they have a healthy A.J. McCarron and a healthy starter in Andy Dalton.  Drafting a quarterback would be a third day, late round pick up at most and, even then, I would expect a signed free agent quarterback to beat out this player.

We want to thank our Facebook friends, Dennis, Josh, and Ray for some great questions.  Remember to like us on Facebook, and follow us on twitter.

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