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Bengals Banter: It's Not Andy Dalton's Arm Strength; It's The Technique

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May 22, 2012; Cincinnati, OH USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) looks to throw during organized team activities at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-US PRESSWIRE
May 22, 2012; Cincinnati, OH USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) looks to throw during organized team activities at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-US PRESSWIRE

Bengals quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese reflected on the whole "Andy Dalton arm strength" issue Wednesday; an issue that often consumes a small band of self-promoted scouts. In a story written by Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Zampese isn't so much worried about Dalton's arm strength as he was the quarterback's overall technique.

"It’s not a matter of strength but technique. We have built things from the ground up," Zampese said. "You put a hurdle on him and he’s going to figure out a way to get better at it. With deep balls and go routes now there’s something going 50 yards every practice. You get technique and feeling down and he has cleared it."

Reedy tweeted an additional quote from Zampese before the story was published that reads:

"We left enough short last year to where someone who is not here every day would wonder if he has enough. It’s not a matter of strength but technique."

We get it. Arm strength equals passes of 50-70 yards through the air. As most of you realize arm strength isn't just about go routes and vertical passes to A.J. Green (as if anyone else is going to be targeted 20 yards downfield). It's as much to do with deep out-routes, from one hashmark to the far sidelines. In press coverage a quarterback my check off the route to another option. A confident quarterback with less than two minutes remaining in the half, needing to stop the clock, may attempt a zip-line fastball without fear of interception or deflection, accumulating 10-15 yards while stopping the clock.

Either way arm strength hasn't been that much of a concern for most of us simple and humble folk. Dalton, with A.J. Green, the No. 7 ranked defense and one of the best special units in the NFL, won nine games and a berth into the playoffs. Perhaps the whole arm strength angle is a bit of a cop-out from people that didn't view Dalton favorably in the NFL during the predraft process.

+ It only seems proper that we kickoff our review from yesterday with a post that garnered little interest. Through his foundation, Marvin Lewis and the Cincinnati Bengals celebrated the success of nearly 5,000 students who were placed on the "A" Honor Roll. Students at participating schools are awarded after each quarter for academic achievement and at the end of the year, during an event in June, the students get a chance to meet Lewis, players and coaches as a reward through the Learning Is Cool program.

We want to acknowledge the efforts by the coach, players and an organization, that's often ridiculed for having character issues when most of the time, these guys, just like most NFL teams, are reaching out into their respective community trying to better the lives of others. Sure some players have had their problems, but who hasn't in life? What matters is how we learn and respond to personal adversity. Unfortunately it's not the sexy story, one that drives traffic or ratings. But it's also a disserve to to ignore it completely.

+ Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was a combination of first-round prospect mixed with his welcome to the NFL moments during Tuesday's practice. Though he gave up a handful of big passing plays, he also broke up an Andy Dalton pass during 7-on-7 drills that nearly led to an interception. Kirkpatrick missed Wednesday's practice due to an unspecified illness.

+ The league officially announced that linebacker Dontay Moch will serve a four-game suspension to start the 2012 regular season for testing positive with a banned substance. Before going off the deep-end and relating him to Steve Lattimer, we wondered this much. With doctors reportedly having a handle on his migraines, was Moch prescribed medication with a chemical banned by the league, unknowingly taking a substance that would get him suspended?

It's not an excuse and if true, it's still Moch's responsibility to account for everything he's putting into his body. That's what the team's medical/training staff is for. Either way we're not medical experts, nor did we sleep at a Holiday Inn Express. But it's a curious thought.

+ We explored the impact that Bobbie Williams' departure could mean. We didn't implore a negative impact either. Rather it further promotes the idea that the Bengals are stronger today on the offensive line with a depth in character that was lacking only two years ago. Williams will undoubtedly be missed. But the team isn't losing much. In fact it should be encouraging that the team feels strong enough to lose his personality with the confidence that they're younger players really are the future. And that future starts now.

+ After suffering a reported leg injury on Tuesday, running back Brian Leonard emerged Wednesday with a knee brace and a declaration that he'll be ready for July 27. We made an error on this story, writing that Rodney Stewart is one of the running backs on the roster unlikely to make the roster. No. We're right he probably won't make the roster. However not because of performance reasons, rather a torn ACL during the first session of OTAs last month.

+ Quarterback Andy Dalton is growing into a natural leadership role.

+ Wide receiver A.J. Green will meet with Larry Fitzgerald for a workout at some point after minicamp and before training camp next month.

+ Speaking of receivers there's a growing confidence that this team is comfortable with the receivers on the roster, disregarding the need to sign anyone else (aka, Braylon Edwards).

+ Cornerback Adam Jones will participate in panel discussions during the rookie symposium week.

+ Former Bengals linebacker Brandon Johnson signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

+ Former Bengals defensive linemen Antwan Odom is generating interest in Denver and Baltimore.