Hue Jackson: Bengals need to work harder

Hue Jackson: Bengals need to work harder
May 25, 2014, 7:00 pm
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The Cincinnati Bengals’ new offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson, has an answer for why the team has been able to make the playoffs the past three years but come away without a single victory.

“We’ve won the division. We’ve won a number of games since these young men have been here,” Jackson told the team website, referring to quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green. “The playoff win has eluded them. But in order to do all these things, it doesn’t matter if we don’t work at it. I think they know that. You have to put in the required work for that success to show up.

“My thing is we haven’t worked hard enough to earn the right to win that game yet. That’s the only way I can put it.”

Jackson, a former Ravens assistant, is challenging his players to be more than just good. And from a player like Green, who already is among the best in the league, he wants even more. To use the economic cliche, a rising tide lifts all boats.

“When the great players play better than they’re supposed to play, the guys who are the good players play great,” Jackson said. “… A.J.’s has had one of the most historic first three years this league has ever seen. And he is that player. He is everything I thought he was and more. But I think there’s more in there. … My challenge to him is, why not be the best? Why not be the best this league has ever seen? Because he has the ability to be that.”

Jackson calls what he has seen so far this offseason from Dalton “spectacular” and praised the QB’s outlook.

“He wants to be great. He’s not interested in being good anymore. Good has gotten us three playoff appearances with no wins. I think he wants to be great, and he’s working at it. That’s all you can hope for at this point.”

Then again, Dalton didn’t necessarily have to be great for the Bengals to have won some of those playoff games. With six interceptions and one touchdown and a cumulative passer rating of 56.2, Dalton still has a way to go to be merely good in the postseason.