Andy Dalton embracing leadership role

CINCINNATI -- When one of his young wide receivers (and there are many) runs a route differently than it was designed, quarterback Andy Dalton will go up and talk to him.

This is different from last year, when Dalton let a coach go over the mistake with the wide receiver.

"I was trying to get the next play," Dalton recalled about last year. "Now, I feel like I can say something. Getting the next play is second nature now."

The team is responding to Dalton's expanded role. According to the Bengals' official website, 10 players (including four starters on defense) were celebrity waiters at Dalton's kickoff event for his charity foundation on Sunday.

"I feel like everybody on this team understands and knows what they're going to get out of me," Dalton said. "They know I'm going to put in the work and the time. I am able to step out a little more. I was able to prove myself a little bit last year and everyone knows we're going to be on the same page and I can voice that a little more. I probably should've done a little bit better job last year but there's a lot of other things that were on my mind. This year, I'm cofomrtable with everybody we got."