The biggest knock on Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton going into the 2011 draft was his questionable arm strength. Coaches and scouts knew he was intelligent and a great leader, but in today's NFL, a golden arm reigns supreme. Even after Dalton led the team to an improbable playoff berth and had himself a Pro Bowl season, the arm criticisms resurfaced this offseason.
It started most recently with NFL.com's film guru, Greg Cosell, citing that people inside the Bengals organization has concerns about Dalton's physical limitations as an NFL quarterback. Predictably, many came to Dalton's defense, including offensive coordinator, Jay Gruden. Now, add Dalton's No.1 receiver as another in the quarterback's corner refuting these criticisms.Appearing on the NFL Network's "Total Access" program, A.J. Green was puzzled about the Dalton criticisms.
Green was asked about Dalton's arm strength Monday during an appearance on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access."
"I don't know why people question his arm," Green said. "I don't believe you have to throw the ball 80 yards every play. You know, just get it out there where I can catch it."
And, "where he can catch it" is just about anywhere on the field, in Green's case. And even though Dalton proved that he can throw the ball nearly "80 yards" at practice on Monday, Green is correct in his assessment of the position. While arm strength is important with a quarterback, it takes a back seat to other intangible quarterback traits like intelligence, leadership and the "clutch factor". The best quarterback in NFL history, Joe Montana, was said to have a suspect arm, but because he had these other intangible qualities, he was able to overcome that and excel.
While it's great to see Green defend his quarterback, it is a bit troubling that these criticisms won't be put to bed. It seems as if another Pro Bowl-like season with another playoff berth will be the one thing that will silence these critics.