Bengals Andy Dalton And His Middle Finger To The Offseason Criticism

August 16, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) throws a pass in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

We don't get along well with critics. There's no better example of this than movie critics. Flicks that they obsess over, destined for AFI legacy, are defined by a single requisite for greatness. Did it make you cry? I suppose I'm the same way. When Johnny Rico, Carmen and Carl found a way to beat the bugs with Zim on the shoulders of soldiers, there was a teary-eyed moment of accomplishment. But then Dizzy's death hit us pretty hard too.

The NFL has their own critics. Some actually get paid for doing it. Mostly all of them questioned Andy Dalton's arm-strength during the offseason. During Cincinnat's 24-19 win over the Atlanta Falcons there was a teary-eyed moment that Bengals fans applauded. Not because Andy Dalton launched a 50-yard touchdown pass on a rope to A.J. Green, who didn't break stride. Rather it was Andy Dalton's first response to the criticism in front of a national audience. When he was pulled from the game (or maybe after), Dalton was asked about it.

"Everyone’s going to say there is a knock on me and its going to be my arm strength," Dalton said. "Its not holding me back, its not changing the way I play the game. They can say whatever they want as long as we’re winning games, as long as I’m getting completions and getting the ball to our guys I’m not worrying about it. Seems like one person said it so everyone is saying it. Everyone’s going to find something."

Cue ovation for that score and appropriate ending to a climax-packed football game.

That one person that Dalton is referring to is undoubtedly Greg Cosell, NFL Films producer and analyst, who said on May 21, 2012:

"I think there’s a sense right now, for a lot of people, that Dalton’s on his way toward being a great quarterback," NFL Films producer Greg Cosell told Yahoo! Sports. "I can tell you that those in the Bengals’ organization have a few doubts as to what his true upside is. Because at the end of the day, while I think Dalton is a good player, I think — not I think, I know — that he’s got some arm strength limitations.

"And there’s some things that they’re not comfortable doing with him."

A day later Matt Williamson with Scout Inc. wrote on May 22:

Not a believer at all in Dalton's arm strength. Huge problem to me - (especially) in that area of the country with weather. But I do think he is able to get the ball downfield if he has room in the pocket to load up. Just can't make the tight throws or generate enough RPMs when conditions are not ideal...and that is a problem.

Well it wasn't on Thursday.

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