Bengals get to show off new offense vs Ravens
CINCINNATI (AP) The Bengals' starters played so sparingly during the preseason that it was difficult to get a feel for their revamped offense under new coordinator Hue Jackson.
Everyone will get it see it at work for four quarters on Sunday when the defending AFC North champions open the season in Baltimore, where the Bengals have lost their last four games.
Even the players are curious about how it will unfold.
''I don't know,'' quarterback Andy Dalton said. ''The same guys are going to be running out there, only a different guy calling it. I don't know how different it's going to be. We'll find out on Sunday.''
It is Cincinnati's biggest transition as it tries for a fourth straight playoff appearance - unprecedented in franchise history.
Jackson was elevated to coordinator after Jay Gruden left to take the head coaching job at Washington. He has installed a more up-tempo approach and emphasized the running game. There have been a few noticeable changes, such as moving receiver A.J. Green to different spots on the field.
Jackson was the offensive coordinator at Washington, Atlanta, and Oakland - he also was the Raiders' head coach - before returning to Cincinnati as an assistant coach for two seasons. The players know his style and his personality. The question is how different Jackson will be when it comes to calling plays in key spots of a game.
''We've got this plan down of what we're going to be doing, so I've got a good idea of what's going to be called at certain times,'' Dalton said. ''He hasn't called a full game yet for us, but I've gotten a good taste of what it's going to be like in the preseason.''
That can be described in one word: aggressive.
Jackson has emphasized getting to the line and getting going. He used the no-huddle during the preseason. He also put more focus on the running game with rookie Jeremy Hill sharing time with Giovani Bernard.
''He coaches aggressively,'' left tackle Andrew Whitworth said. ''I think it's just an attack mode all the time. That's his mentality. Even if you have a game where you have to throw it a bunch of times, he's going to find a way to make it attacking and put the defense on its heels.''
One of the most obvious changes is in how he's using his top receiver. Instead of sending Green out to the sideline, he's moving him around in formations, trying to get mismatches in the defense's formations.
It's been a big adjustment for Green, who was picked for the Pro Bowl each of his first three seasons and has 260 catches in his career, the most by an NFL player in his first three years.
''I pay more attention to detail and learn a little more,'' Green said. ''It's getting me out of my comfort level. Move me around a lot - it's a good thing. That's fine.''
Jackson is more outspoken than Gruden, which has been another adjustment for the players. They're getting used to getting yelled at when they make an unacceptable mistake.
''He is very detailed and demanding,'' coach Marvin Lewis said. ''And yet he can put his arm around the guy and close the door and explain to him why, and make him understand why he's being, as the guys say, hard on him that day, that moment.
''It's a good quality to have. You have to have both.''
Notes: Lewis gave veteran offensive linemen Whitworth and Clint Boling a day off from practice on Thursday to rest. LB Sean Porter missed practice with a hamstring injury suffered during the final preseason game. ... LB Vontaze Burfict was limited because of the heat and CB Darqueze Dennard by a sore hip. ... TE Tyler Eifert (shoulder), RT Andre Smith (concussion) and RB Cedric Peerman (hip) had full practices for a second straight day.
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