Andy Dalton will get first start Friday

GEORGETOWN, Ky. -- The Cincinnati Bengals are wasting no time getting the Andy Dalton era underway.

DaltonDaltonBengals head coach Marvin Lewis said Dalton will be the starter in Cincinnati's preseason opener Friday night against the Detroit Lions. It could be the first of many starts for Dalton in a Bengals uniform. He was drafted in the second round last April to replace veteran Carson Palmer, who demanded to be traded and subsequently retired.

"It's a good opportunity for me," Dalton said after Monday night's practice. "I knew once I got drafted here there was going to be an opportunity. I feel I've come out and worked hard and tried to get better each day. That's all I can do right now."

The Bengals may keep Dalton and the first team on the field longer than usual, according to Lewis. Cincinnati is in the process of learning a new West Coast offense.

"We haven't had all the offseason work that you normally would have," Lewis said. "So I think we need to play together as a football team on both sides of the ball."