It's been a while since we've had a Morning Stripes to start off your morning here on the Cincinnati Bengals blog, but here we are with one on this wonderful free agency Tuesday.
In a matter of hours, we'll begin learning the landing spots for many of the league's unrestricted and restricted free agents. The Bengals' two biggest names to monitor, defensive end Michael Johnson and offensive tackle Anthony Collins, are beginning to seem as if they'll be too pricey for Cincinnati to bring back. If the market reacts unfavorably to signing either at their believed asking prices, though, then there may be a sliver of hope for the Bengals to negotiate an 11th-hour deal that keeps them in town.
Yes, free agency is the big headline on this Tuesday, but it honestly has nothing to do with what the rest of this post is about.
Regardless what happens to Collins and Johnson, the Bengals still have a new offense to manage and a quarterback that has yet to lead them to a playoff victory. That said, Andy Dalton's focus the rest of this offseason is doing what he can to ensure he's making himself much better than he already has been.
As he starts ratcheting up his offseason training regimen, Dalton told Bengals.com before a charity function in his native Texas on Monday that he plans on working with throwing coach Tom House. A former major league pitcher who lives near Los Angeles, House will be hosting Dalton next week as he works on the Bengals quarterback's throwing technique and evaluating film of his throwing. The Atlanta Braves pitcher who caught Hank Aaron's 715th home run, House might be getting his share of attention soon as the 40th anniversary of the historic hit approaches. Aaron's homer on April 8, 1974, passed Babe Ruth for first-place on baseball's all-time home run list.
House has worked in the past with quarterbacks, pitchers, tennis players and golfers as he tries to get them to understand the sequencing of rotating hips, shoulders and arms when they swing or throw. NFL quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Joe Flacco, Matt Cassel and Carson Palmer are among those who have used House in the past.
While one could argue it was Dalton's decision-making that hampered him the most during his worst situations in 2013, there certainly were a number of throws he wished had been delivered better. Notably, he threw his share of ducks that easily floated into the hands of opposing defenders for interceptions. He was picked off 20 times last season, even though, again, many of those were the result of poor decision-making on his part.
Will this House call work out?
Let's take a look at the rest of the Morning Stripes:
Here's the story from Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com outlining just what it is that Dalton is expecting House to do with him.
As was previously mentioned, Dalton was in Texas on Monday unveiling digital improvements that he and his wife, Jordan, donated to a children's hospital in Fort Worth. The center, nicknamed "Andy's Hub," will have iPads, DVD players and gaming systems to help children undergoing treatment and recovery from various illnesses. Also contained in this Bengals.com story about the initiative is a nugget about how Dalton believes new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson will be bringing a more up-tempo offense to Cincinnati next season. Dalton likes that idea.
Finally, we turn to the Washington Post for this story about former Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and how good one former Washington front-office member believes Cincinnati will be without him. Over the weekend, Vinny Cerrato, Washington's former executive vice president of football operations, said during an interview on SiriusXM's NFL Radio that he thought the Bengals got better with Gruden's departure. Gruden became Washington's head coach in January. You'll have to read the story for fuller context.