- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden wanted Andy Dalton to be his quarterback, handpicking him in the 2011 draft. This year, Gruden wants Dalton to make a big jump in 2013.
Gruden told WLW Radio in Cincinnati that Dalton needs to improve in every phase and specifically named his deep accuracy and touch.
"He’s got a long way to go," Gruden told WLW Radio in Cincinnati, via sportsradiointerviews.com. "He’s done some great things for a second-year quarterback, won a lot of games and thrown some good touchdown passes, but we feel like he has not come close to his potential. That’s our job to get it out of him. And he knows he’s gotta play better, and we all do.”
Last season, Dalton completed 62.3 percent of his throws for 3,669 yards with 27 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Arm strength has been a popular criticism of Dalton, who took it personally at times last season.
Statistically, the Bengals' deep passing game relied on Dalton just heaving it to A.J. Green. Last season, Dalton ranked near the bottom of the league in passes over 20 yards (37) but tied strong-armed Joe Flacco in completions over 40 yards (12).
2hJason Gibbs, Special to ESPN.com
3hJason Gibbs, Special to ESPN.com