Okay, we all know our starting quarterback has physical limitations. But that's not as big a deal as some people would like to make it out to be.
The truth is, yes, Dalton has limitations. I'm not going to pummel that dead horse any further, we all know what they are.
But there are also things he does very well.
-He has one of the quickest releases of any quarterback in the league.
-He sells fake handoffs great. When you fool the cameraman and scamper into the endzone before anyone realizes you still have the ball, you're good at it.
-He's really good at quick, short passes.
So, given the list of things he's actually very good at.....why does this offense almost never run play-action? Why is that not a staple of an offense that has one slightly above-average and one stellar running back? The play action pass play would cater almost perfectly to the things Andy Dalton does well, while limiting how often you ask him to do the things he isn't so good at.
I even had an idea of a play I would design for this particular offense (and Gruden would even like it because it's tricksy). Simplicity itself: Line up Gresham as a fullback and fake a run. Have Gresham let the defender "beat" his block and keep going. Have BJGE pick up the defender and throw a quick pass to Gresham. It plays to everyone's strengths, and given that we don't have a true fullback, the defense would probably bite on the run, figuring that we're trying to use Gresham as a blocker to make up for not having a real fullback.
It honestly boggles me that we have so many players that would fit into a run first, play action later style offense, and our offensive coordinator refuses to play to their strengths. Gio, BabyHawk, Gresham, Eifert, Sanu. They're all good in short to medium passing plays. Green and Jones are legitimate deep threats, but they can't do much when they're double and triple covered. If you run a lot it sets up play action, which Dalton is very good at selling. Sooner or later the defense is going to bring guys in to shut down the play action passes that are killing them and you get Green and Jones one on one against cornerbacks who probably aren't as good as them.
Dalton simply can't be asked to throw 50+ times a game. It's not even a matter of giving him more chances to make mistakes. His arm isn't that strong and it gets tired after about 30 throws. No one is going to be throwing accurate, zippy passes when their arm feels like its about to fall off.
TL;DR version: Gruden needs to learn what his players are good at and have them do it. You aren't going to win an off-road race with a drag car, stop trying to.