CINCINNATI (AP) -- Andy Dalton kept the offense in the huddle for more than a few seconds.
Coordinator Hue Jackson wasn't happy.
"C'mon guys, get 'em in and out!" Jackson yelled from the sideline, his arms crossed in a show of disapproval. "Let's go!"
The Bengals' offense has a few new features this season under
Jackson, and the most noticeable involves speed. Cincinnati no longer
has a low gear when it comes to getting lined up and snapping the ball.
There's only fast and faster.
The up-tempo approach was on display Tuesday during the first workout
of minicamp. Jackson, who took over as offensive coordinator when Jay
Gruden was hired as Washington's head coach, wants to see the Bengals
develop a more consistent running game. He's added a few new touches,
such as more shifting before plays.
And there's that constant attention to the play clock.
It's essentially the same offense run at a different speed.
"It's an adjustment," offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth said. "You
start getting it where guys are playing harder and faster, and then you
have to be able to do it over a long period of time, all of the time.
All those things tie in.
"As this game gets faster and sped up, guys are going to have to
prepare the right way. To play that style, you have to prepare
They started getting accustomed to it during voluntary offseason
workouts. The entire offense was together on Tuesday for the first day
of the mandatory minicamp, getting a better feel for how the new
approach translates into running plays.
The huddles go quicker. The receivers run to their spots before the
ball is snapped. The quarterbacks get rid of the ball quickly.
It takes more energy and concentration to go at that pace.
"You definitely feel it," receiver Marvin Jones said. "When you keep
pushing it and make that second-nature, it gets easy. We're at the point
now where we just have to keep pushing."
The Bengals lost both coordinators from a team that made the playoffs
for the third season in a row, only to lose the opening game for the
third straight time. Cincinnati hasn't won a playoff game since the 1990
season, tied for the sixth-longest streak of futility in NFL history.
The offense ranked 10th in the league last season -- 18th in running,
eighth in passing. Dalton had one of the best seasons by a Bengals
quarterback, throwing for a club-record 4,293 yards and 33 touchdowns.
He had another bad game in the playoffs, a theme to his first three
The offense returns virtually intact, with Dalton negotiating a
long-term extension heading into the final season of his contract.
Dalton doesn't have to learn a new offense under Jackson, who was an
assistant in Cincinnati each of the past two seasons.
"It is the same offense that we were running, but there's a lot of
tweaks in there, a lot of tweaks with how Hue likes to do things,"
Mainly, he wants to see things done faster. Jackson has given Dalton a
lot of responsibility for making sure the offense is lined up correctly
and gets the plays off smoothly.
"So it's making sure guys are lined up how you want them to be, how
we're doing our motions, guys are going full-speed," Dalton said. "They
want to do everything quick. We want to do everything quick, too. We
want to get back and be ready to go."
Notes: The Bengals re-signed TE Alex Smith, who was a free agent.
Smith joined the Bengals as a free agent from Cleveland last season and
caught 13 passes for 47 yards. A wrist injury forced him to miss the
playoff loss to San Diego. ... Coach Marvin Lewis said that if training
camp opened this week, CB Leon Hall would be lined up as a starter. Hall
is ahead of schedule in recovering from his second torn Achilles'
tendon in the past three years. He didn't participate in full-team
drills on Tuesday. ... Lewis was much more guarded about DT Geno Atkins,
who is coming back from a torn ACL suffered on Oct. 31. It's unclear
whether he'll be ready to start the season.