After parting ways with longtime boss Marvin Lewis, the Bengals hired former Los Angeles Rams quarterback coach Zac Taylor as his replacement. For his part, Dalton is already enjoying his preseason work with the 36-year-old Taylor.
"Marvin had a great 16 years here," the quarterback told MMQB's Albert Breer. "I think if you talk to any coach, and you say you could have 16 years in one place, anyone would sign up for that. So we lot of success with Marvin. But with Zac, obviously, he's younger, and you can feel the energy level in the building. It's been a lot of fun, from the meetings to the practice field, to everything.
"That's not to say it wasn't fun before, but that's just the vibe we have right now. It's been good. Guys are competing."
Dalton himself is looking to move forward after a disappointing 2018 campaign. Cincinnati finished last in the AFC North with a 6-10 record, and the veteran passer landed on injured reserve in November after tearing ligaments in his thumb.
In a division that features the ascending Cleveland Browns along with the sturdy Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, many expect the Bengals to struggle in 2019. However, Dalton disagrees.
"I don't feel like there’s any pressure," he said. "I expect to play well. I expect the team to do well, and that's just the feeling we have in the building. We see what we're doing out here in practice. I don't think a ton of people are giving us much of a chance in our division. But we're confident in our building. Everyone has high expectations.
"This system and the way we're going to be playing fits me really well, fits our guys, and we expect to score a lot of points."
This could represent a make-or-break season for Dalton. The quarterback has two years remaining on his contract and Cincinnati can release him in 2020 without incurring any dead cap.