Okay Dalton defenders here is a chance to stand by your man. Not trying to throw fuel on the fire here, but I am curious to see what you all see in him based strictly on his skills because quite frankly, I aint seeing it. I asked this in a thread and never got a specific answer. I am anticipating folks saying things like ‘he’s a winner’ or ‘he’s a leader’ or pointing to what I consider to be an inflated completion percentage as evidence that Dalton is an accurate passer. So what say you, beleaguered Dalton apologist? What exactly do you see in this guy’s game that you find so exciting?
The following is criteria that scouts may use when evaluating QB’s. Most of these are pretty self-explanatory but I put some qualifying bullet points under a few for clarification. You can add your own are disagree with mine if you want…but the point is to identify specific areas that you think Dalton excels. What skills does he have that would so difficult to replace?
Note: This is where I am likely going to disagree with most of you. I do not think Andy Dalton is an accurate passer despite his completion percentage. I think his completion % is inflated due to the fact that most of his throws are less than 10 yards and have a very low degree of difficulty. Just to be clear, the following is how I gauge QB accuracy:
• How well does he lead the receivers?
• Do they catch the ball in stride or do they have to wait for the ball?
• Do his passes sail or do the receivers have to go to the ground often to catch passes?
• Can he complete over the shoulder throws on swing routes and down the field?
• This pertains to arm strength as well, can he hit the deep out with velocity and accuracy?
Ability to throw on the run:
Ability to throw with anticipation:
• Can he throw his guys open?
Ability to throw with touch:
• The ability to move forward, backward, and side to side in the pocket can buy valuable time for his receivers to get open.
• Ability to ‘feel’ the pass rush
• Ability handle the pass rush without panicking under pressure.
• Ability to keep calm in high pressure situations
• Ability to finding the open receiver
• Doesn't force the ball into double coverage on a consistent basis
• Knows when to throw the ball away or pull it down and run with it.
• Can he find his second or third option when primary is covered?
I would rate Dalton average or below in most categories. I’d also say that he lacks the God given talent to be expected to reasonably improve in some. In his defense I think his release is good, but if he cannot throw the ball down the field with accuracy that somewhat voids that out. I think his red zone numbers have been excellent and that is an area where I’d say he is very good. However, now that the book is out on how to defend him I think those opportunities will not be as frequent as any of us would like. I think he’s also clearly pressing and losing confidence which does not bode well.
So in conclusion, not saying Dalton is terrible in any of these areas. I think in most he is serviceable. But when I look at him from strictly a skill standpoint to me he has back-up QB written all over him. How do you all objectively evaluate Dalton based on his skills?