Joe Mixon in line for bigger role but Bengals aren't considering QB change
After changing offensive coordinators, the Bengals will look to get their rookie back more involved
The Bengals have numerous issues to sort through under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, who takes over for the fired Ken Zampese this week. Expect rookie running back Joe Mixon to be one of the primary beneficiaries of the coaching change.
The Bengals have been a mess along the offensive line, struggling to run or throw the football, but anticipate a bigger role for Mixon in their crowded backfield moving forward, sources said. Mixon has 17 carries through two weeks, while Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill each have 12, and that division of labor is slated to skew further in the rookie's direction.
Quarterback Andy Dalton has had an awful start to the season but is not in any imminent danger of losing his starting job, sources said, though backup AJ McCarron is highly thought of internally and around the league. Dalton is not on a short leash at this point, and the staff is not mulling a change there after reaching the postseason several times since Dalton took over, but should this sputtering offense spiral into the second half of the season, then more drastic change is always an option.
The Bengals, who have lost a slew of free-agent talent at receiver and along the offensive line the past two years, and whose staff watched former play-callers Hue Jackson and Jay Gruden move on to become NFL head coaches elsewhere in recent years, will be compromised Sunday as well. Former Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert and wide receiver John Ross, the Bengals' speedy first-round pick in April, have been ruled out in Week 3 due to injury, with health an ongoing saga for both the veteran and the youngster.
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