3 Cincinnati Bengals under the microscope this year

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Jun 13, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) runs drills during minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) runs drills during minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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3 Cincinnati Bengals under the microscope this year
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Offensive Maestro

Yes, you know the deal. There’s always a leader that keeps the battle flowing while the troops take major heat. He’s not on the field but part of the clan. For the Bengals, that happens to be OC Ken Zampese. If you don’t know your recent Bengals’ history (shame on you), Zampese was the quarterbacks coach from 2003-2015. In other words, he’s been a fixture with the franchise just as long as Marvin Lewis.

Last year, Zampese was promoted to the coordinator position and there was a slight struggle. Without going ham and saying the Bengals tanked, it was a level exchange across the board. When Hue Jackson left for the greener fields of Cleveland, fans were rewarded with the man behind the scenes. In his first year as OC, Zampese was decent. But, that’s not going to win awards in the AFC North or the NFL. Barring a miracle, he won’t rewrite the passing game or blocking techniques. But, he’ll have the Bengals poised and ready to look much better than his 2016 debut.

Here’s how this works. Zampese has overseen the careers of Carson Palmer, Jon Kitna and Andy Dalton. Honestly, while under his tutelage, Palmer and Kitna were at their best. In his time with Dalton, the improvement has been incredible. As mentioned before, the 2017  campaign will be his second year programming Dalton with his way of thinking. This has to be the year things start to pop on offense.  

"“He’s going to create his own niche, so to speak,” former Rams OC and head coach Martz said. “We all did. But it kind of goes back, it emanates from the same base. The really good ones, and I think he is, take advantage of the talent that they have.”"

Time to make the donuts.

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