After the Cincinnati Bengals missing the playoffs the last two seasons, quarterback Andy Dalton says they are close to returning.
The Cincinnati Bengals failed to reach the playoffs in 2017 for the second consecutive season. Quarterback Andy Dalton talks about why he thinks the team is ready to make a push in 2018 and a lot of his reasoning is because of offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Lazor stepped up from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator when the Bengals fired former offensive coordinator Ken Zampese after the week two loss to the Houston Texans.
The Bengals ranked 32nd in total offense last season and a lot of that has to do with the playcalling and scheme. Lazor never had a chance to really develop his own touch on the offense as he was adjusting to the current scheme and playbook left behind from Zampese. He will get a chance this offseason to build his own offense and playbook to help the Bengals offense get back to the playoffs in 2018.
“We have a lot of talent on this roster and I am excited for the opportunity to build the high-powered offense we have the potential to be,” Lazor said. “This offseason will give us the chance to continue the success we had at the end of the year as we develop into a dynamic offense in 2018.”
The team has brought in some new coaches on the offensive side including offensive line coach Frank Pollack who was a big part of the Dallas Cowboys dominant offensive line over the last few years. This is the first step in rebuilding this offense and getting it back into the dominant form of 2015. The line has failed to protect Dalton as he has been sacked 80 times in the last two seasons.
Cincinnati struggled at finishing games losing close games and losing leads in the fourth quarter. The team will have to get better in the second half of games especially as it ranked very low in scoring during the second half.
Dalton seems convinced that Lazor will be the guy to get the Bengals offense back up and firing in 2018. The team showed some promise in the final two weeks of the season and hopefully can continue that into this upcoming season.
“I don’t know a ton [about any changes to the offense], but I’ve really enjoyed Bill Lazor being there,” Dalton said last week. “I know he’s got a plan for us and a plan of how he wants to do things. So for him obviously taking over in the third week last year, he didn’t have a chance to really put his stamp on everything. He was kind of evolving what we were doing. Now it’ll be a chance for him to have a full offseason, full OTAs, training camp to put his stuff in and to do it how he wants to do it. I’m looking forward to that.”
There will be some changes to the Bengals offense and Dalton knows that his game has to improve as well for them to reach the playoffs this year. He knows that there were plenty of opportunities last year that they let slip away but he is confident that the team can play better in 2018. After finishing 32nd in yards, 27th in passing yards, 31st in rushing yards, and 26th in points scored, the team has to make some serious changes.