Community Round Table: Part 1 - Andy Dalton

Andy Lyons

I wanted to grab the opinion of some of the commenters on the site about 5 current Bengals topics. Here is the first round of responses.

1. Let's start with Dalton. Where do you stand on him? Should the Bengals still be evaluating him or is a decision made on if he is the guy for the job? Have you seen enough to want to replace or continue growing him?

Mismanagement

They should be evaluating; wait until the end of the season and then make a decision on what to do. At this point I lean towards drafting a new QB high, but I need to see the next 11 games and postseason.

Mismanagement brings up a fairly popular opinion, that if Dalton does not show real progression this season, then the Bengals need to take the necessary steps to move on in the offseason.

palewook

I believe he's the Bengals QB of today and tomorrow. People possess unrealistic Madden expectations for a qb to throw for 4000+ yards and 30+ TDs in a season. Dalton has the ability to become a Kenny Anderson type of QB. At this point in his career, Dalton is putting up some numbers that are better than Kenny's were. Jay Gruden hasn't done Dalton favors at times in 2013. From focusing the offensive game plan too heavily on getting AJ Green the ball, ignoring screen and flat passes, and leaving the TEs as an after-thought. How often have the Bengals abandoned the run? The Cleveland game made me mental with the way the Bengals tossed the towel on the running game so early and with so much time remaining.

Palewook and I share the same opinion of Dalton. I think he is and can become the quarterback the Bengals need. A lot depends on the type of game we try and have Dalton run. Gruden should be in the mindset of calling the quick hit types of plays that Dalton is comfortable running. With a high completion percentage this kind of attack would move the chains, sustain drives and ultimately win games.

West TX Bengal Fan

Dalton should be coming off the steep end of his learning curve about now if he's going to ascend. However, he is still struggling with a lot of the physical components of the game as well as some of the mental aspects that have developed as a result of his limited physical skills. You will see that today I left a model for QB development in the NFL listing QBs in one of four quadrants depending on their relative Physical and Game Mgmt skills. For the ease of purpose, we'll say that the Physical Skills are either HI or LOW and that the Game Mgmt skills are either high or low. Elite QBs score HI and HI on this. "Athlete" QBs score HI and Low. Game Managers score LOW and HI. Developmental QBs score LOW and LOW. Usually a LOW athletic QB cannot ascend to a HI score because he does not have the innate skills. The LOW Game Manager, however, can ascend and the HI Physical Skills QB can descend. If the elite are quadrant I, athletes are Quadrant II, Game Managers are Quadrant III, and Developmental are Quadrant IV, you have a situation where Quad II can ascend, Quad I can descend, Quad IV can ascend (only to Quadrant III), and Quad III can only descend. I think Dalton is a Quadrant III QB because he has shown that his limited athletic skills are not adaptable enough to put him into the athletic level. As far as where I stand on him, I believe that the team made a mistake in evaluating him and thinking that he could be the sole answer at QB for this season and perhaps more. Josh Johnson is not a good backup candidate because he won't be able to do more than to provide a spark for a quarter or two (as a result of the element of surprise and the lack of game-planning for his speed). However, with time to scout Johnson, every team would shut him down. The best plan for 2013 is to hope that Dalton doesn't get injured, play very conservatively, let the defense win the game, and avoid getting into the long distance downs where the D can sit on the pass. When the season is over, the team would be wise to attempt to find a better vet to compete for the job in 2014 and to draft one of the early QBs in the heavy talented college draft next spring. Problem with that plan is that no rookie will be ready to lead a team right away, while an available vet won't be much better than Dalton. So we're actually somewhat stuck with Dalton as our guy probably through 2014. We should have moved up and grabbed one of the 4th Round guys this season. The scouting team is probably kicking themselves right now for this mistake.

West TX actually brings quite a bit of explanation with his analysis. It's easy to say "Dalton sucks move on", it's not easy to explain why you think that. While we don't share the opinion I do enjoy reading his thoughts.

SCbengalsfan

I think Dalton does need further evaluation, but not further than this season. He has proven to be very inconsistent. I think we need to see how the rest of the season plays out to make a decision on whether or not he should be replaced. I share the opinion of a lot of us that drafting a quarterback would be a very good idea. Dalton might thrive with competition and become the quarterback we all hoped he would be by now... If he doesn't hopefully the quarterback we pick will be better.

SC takes a little bit of a different thought. He thinks bringing in some competition for a guy that potentially could take over the position. Or this new QB could light a fire under Dalton and improve his play also.

Mexal

I wish, at this stage in the season and Dalton's career, that I could definitively say whether he is the answer or not. I can't. If you looked up the word inconsistency in the dictionary, you would see a picture of Dalton. There are times when Dalton looks like an absolute stud. The 3rd down pass from deep in the Bengals territory this past week to Jones was a thing of beauty. Perfect trajectory, great placement, unreal touch...just a beautiful throw. In the very same game, you have Dalton overthrowing Green by 5-6 yards that was almost picked and throwing across his body in the red zone for an easy interception. This is my biggest issue with Dalton. He can make the throws. He can make the reads. He can avoid pressure. He just cannot do it on a consistent basis, from drive to drive or game to game. Every game you get 4-5 boneheaded plays, whether bad decisions, bad throws or missed opportunities (missed an 80 yard TD to Sanzenbacher in the slot cause he locked on Green). Every year, you get 3-5 great Dalton games, 3-4 horrible Dalton games and the rest somewhere in between. Just once, I want to see a stretch of play that shows me Dalton can do this week in and week out. At that point, I'll be prepared to get behind him as a long term QB. Until then, I see the same issues that I saw in week 1 of his rookie year. He is clearly more comfortable now with the offense, has more weapons, yet you're still seeing the lack of pocket presence, the dropping of the eyes when pressure is near him, the poor deep ball and the one read and throw decisions. There just isn't enough improvement that suggests Dalton will be anything more than a game manager who doesn't actually limit his mistakes like you'd hope.

To sum up, I think we should continue with Dalton through the year and if he improves, move forward with him in 2014 and think about an extension. If he doesn't, I'd consider drafting a QB in the first round in a pretty deep class, sit him behind Dalton in 2014 and plan to start him in 2015 after a year of learning behind Dalton because Dalton is good enough to help us win games now, but I don't believe, at this point anyway, that he's good enough to win us a Super Bowl without a massive amount of luck and I'd rather not rely on luck.

Mexal makes a point in his argument that I have been against. In the past game many people bring up the play where Dalton supposedly missed a wide open Dane Sanzenbacher for an 80yd touchdown. My thoughts on this are simple. I would be willing to bet Sanzenbacher was not the primary read on the play. In the NFL if your first or second read is open you are going to pull the trigger. No quarterbacks scan every read and then decide who to hit down the field. If that were the case then there would be much more sacks. It just doesn't happen. It is something the fans and analysts do after games.

Thanks for the input, this is just the first of many questions we weigh in on.

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