NFL

Bengals' Dalton says he feels no added pressure this season

By Sports Desk August 20, 2019

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is concerned about only one thing amid pressure on Cincinnati.

Cincinnati have missed the playoffs in three straight seasons with Dalton under center, but he said he is not focusing on the past. 

"I don't feel like there's any extra pressure," Dalton said, via Cincinnati.com. "I think we have high expectations for ourselves. I'm not worried about any added pressure. I'm just worried about winning.

"Win games. Win games in the playoffs. Win the Super Bowl. That's what it comes down to. The ultimate goal is to start off by winning the division and go from there. Those are the big goals. For us, we want to play sound football in all phases of the game. That's the biggest thing going to Seattle week one into a tough environment."

Dalton will be playing for a new coach this season as the Bengals parted ways with Marvin Lewis in late December and hired Zac Taylor to replace him.

Dalton said he was "really comfortable" playing in Taylor's offense. 

"I think I understand everything we're doing," Dalton said. "I know exactly how we're trying to attack certain defenses, why he's calling certain things. I really enjoy what we've been running and what Zac's implemented into this team."

Taylor praised Dalton and said he has "been impressive" during training camp and the preseason.

"He sees protections very well, so you always feel like he's going to protect play calls that you're not fired up about once you get to the line of scrimmage," Taylor said. "He's going to find his man and get us to the next play. He has good touch, good accuracy, and he knows where the ball should go. I'm very happy that he's our quarterback."

Dalton was limited to just 11 games last season because of a thumb injury. He threw 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while the team registered a 5-6 record in his starts. 

The Bengals have two preseason games remaining before they face the Seahawks on September 8.

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    From reaction to the Carolina Panthers suffering another loss on Thursday to New York Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams responding to Odell Beckham Jr.'s recent comments, we follow all that is happening on Friday in this edition of NFL news and notes. 

    Three things that matter

    Cam Newton takes blame after Panthers start season 0-2

    After the Panthers fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-14 on Thursday, quarterback Cam Newton shouldered most of the blame. He said all fingers will be pointed at him to try and figure out how to turn around an 0-2 start. 

    "We didn't uphold our end and we're past due. Special teams had a good return, defensively we were stout all game, but all fingers are pointing back to me specifically – and the offense," Newton said. "It's extremely frustrating knowing that you're getting opportunities and you just can't put the ball in the end zone. That's what we have to figure out – what I have to figure out."

    Newton threw for 324 yards but completed just 24 of 51 passes and was sacked three times as the Panthers failed to score a touchdown. There has been speculation with Newton's health as he had shoulder surgery during the offseason and suffered a foot injury in the preseason. Coach Ron Rivera insisted, though, that Newton's health is not a concern.

    "There's no issue with his shoulder. He threw the deep ball today, threw it a couple times," Rivera said.

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    Jets defensive coordinator Williams responded to Beckham's accusations that the coach told his players to injure the wide receiver during a preseason game two years ago.  When pressed about Beckham's recent claims, Williams said with a slight laugh: "Odell who?" before saying, "That was a joke ... that was Jerry [Jones]," in reference to how the Dallas Cowboys owner responded to Ezekiel Elliott holdout questions in the preseason. 

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    Beckham said on Thursday that Williams, who was a defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns from 2017-18 before serving as interim head coach in 2018, coaches his players to make "dirty hits and cheap shots" targeted at him. Beckham added Williams "changed my life forever" when he was hit during a preseason game in 2017 while playing for the New York Giants, which resulted in an ankle injury. He claims Browns players told him that Williams would tell his players to take the receiver out. 

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    Cam Newton acknowledged fingers will be pointed at him as he took the blame after the Carolina Panthers fell to a 20-14 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday.

    Quarterback Newton threw for 324 yards but completed just 24 of 50 passes and was sacked three times as the Panthers failed to score a touchdown and slipped to 0-2 for the first time since 2013.

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    Both teams had something to prove on Thursday and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came out on top against the Carolina Panthers 20-14.

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    The 'Quarterback Whisperer' finally got to Winston

    Bruce Arians is known for his ability to fix quarterbacks. He has helped develop Pro Bowl signal-callers Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer. Now, Arians is tasked with turning around Winston's career.

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