Andy Dalton is set for a breakout year, and he’s doing everything he can to take his game to the next level.
Unfairly scrutinized, Dalton hasn’t received much approval from the Cincinnati fanbase since 2016. Although he’s been injured here and there, his play hasn’t drop too drastically, certainly not to the level of Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
In an ultra-competitive league like the NFL, you have to continue to build your own way. That said, this offseason, Dalton’s taking the next steps of career in his own hands by learning, watching and getting a head start on this brand new offensive system.
The Bengals hired Rams quarterback coach Zac Taylor, who had a front-row seat watching Sean McVay’s offense light the NFL on fire, to be their new head coach and play-caller. All signs point towards Taylor implementing an offense similar to McVay’s, and in preparation, Dalton watched every single offensive snap of the Rams offense from last season, per Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.
“Dalton has watched every offensive snap taken last year by the Rams (Taylor was L.A.’s quarterbacks coach in 2018), and the proficiency of the play-action game stuck out to most to the Bengals QB.”
This will be a huge change for Dalton. He’s been a straight drop back quarterback in the eight years of different offenses under Marvin Lewis and his offensive coordinators. To say a noticeable change in scheme is coming may be an understatement.
“That’s a product of McVay and company marrying the run game to the passing game, which creates time and opportunity for Jared Goff to strike. As Dalton says of his Rams counterpart, ‘With everything kind of looking the same, he had time back there, and he was able to get the ball down the field.’”
Goff established himself as one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the league last year. After losing all seven starts in 2016 and throwing just five touchdowns with seven interceptions, McVay has developed Goff into a quarterback worth a second contract. He totaled a career-high 32 touchdowns in 2018 with Taylor as his position coach.
Let’s hope Taylor can bring his success with Goff to the Queen City. Dalton’s doing his part, now, we just need to see this duo’s connection on the field and winning games.