Bengals may add read-option package with Josh Johnson

By John Breech | CBSSports.com


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The addition of Josh Johnson could mean the Bengals run some read-option in 2013. (USATSI)

A new quarterback on the Bengals roster could mean a new wrinkle in the Bengals offense.

The signing of former Buccaneers quarterback Josh Johnson on Thursday has Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden thinking about installing a read-option package, something the Bengals rarely used last season.

"We ran it maybe one or two times last year," Gruden told the team's official website. "We'll see how it goes and where everyone is, but you could definitely see Josh doing some of that. The zone-read certainly gets the numbers in the favor of the offense. It's good to be able to show something a little different if he was your No. 2 and he had to go into the game."

One of the main reasons the Bengals seemed to have signed Johnson is because he's not Andy Dalton. Johnson brings a different skill set to the team, which Gruden seems to eager to take advantage of.

"The beauty of Josh is that he can execute all parts of our offense because he's smart enough," Gruden said. "Plus he can do different things than Andy can do and I think that's good to have some diversity behind your No. 1 quarterback."

However, Gruden seems to have a few kinks he wants to work out with Johnson before installing any packages, "He's got some accuracy issues and he throws pretty much every ball hard, but he's got a ton of upside," Gruden said.

Gruden has some familiarity with Johnson dating back to Johnson's rookie year in Tampa Bay. Johnson was a fifth round pick by the Bucs in 2008, which coincided with Gruden's final year as an offensive assistant in Tampa.

Although the read-option could be in the Bengals future, that's only if Johnson wins the No. 2 job, which is no given. Johnson will be duking it out with Zac Robinson -- and any other quarterback the Bengals might add -- for the right to back up Dalton.

"Zac Robinson will have something to say about the No. 2 job," Gruden said.

Robinson could also be a candidate to run the read-option though. The former Oklahoma State quarterback ran for more than 300 yards in three of his four seasons in Stillwater, including an 847-yard, nine-touchdown season in 2007.

Robinson, a Patriots seventh-round pick in 2010, has spent the past two seasons on Cincinnati's practice squad.

Keep your eye on everything NFL by following John Breech on Twitter: @JohnBreech.

 
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