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View Full Version : How Good Do You Think Andy Dalton Can Be?


BeerBaron
05-21-2012, 08:56 AM
It's a question worth asking. His physical tools max out around average at best, which is always a limiting factor in a QBs ceiling. It's why he was available in the 2nd round last year while other less-polished but more physically talented QBs were drafted well ahead of him (Locker and Gabbert particularly.)

He was adequate for the Bengals last year and played well enough for them to beat the weaker teams on their schedule. I would take that from a rookie QB and I think most others would as well.

But what is said here matches my concerns with him:

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/05/21/bengals-still-have-reservations-about-andy-dalton/

For those who don't like clicking links and reading, here is a brief summary.

Jay Gruden did a great job in masking Dalton's deficiencies (spelled that right on my first try, **** yeah) last year. But, as the media talks him up as a potential up-and-coming franchise QB, the Bengals organization has rallied a bit to temper expectations.

The league seemed to catch onto Daltonís act about midway through his rookie year. In the Bengalsí final nine games, including the playoffs, Dalton completed just 169-of-301 passes (56.1 percent) for 1,959 yards (6.51 YPA) with seven touchdowns compared to 12 turnovers. Dalton roared out of the gates against a soft early-season schedule, only to flounder when the passing windows got smaller against stouter stretch-run defenses.

So how good do you think Andy Dalton will be in this league?

My personal comparison for where I see him maxing out is at the level of post-multiple-shoulder-surgeries Chad Pennington. A smart guy, good leader, accurate...but doesn't have the arm strength or general athleticism to take over games like a franchise QB should be able to do.

If the Bengals really develop that team around him, and they're well on their way with a couple of good drafts running now, he could easily game manage them to success. AJ Green is a legit #1 WR and I think Sanu could develop beautifully as a #2 possession guy, which will be huge for someone like Dalton. They have what could be a great TE combo in Gresham and Orson Charles (steal.) Their o-line wasn't that bad and now they've added Zeitler. And they're very fond of drafting all of those low-floor, high-ceiling types on defense. If they get all that clicking, Dalton could be adequate for them.

Thoughts?

killxswitch
05-21-2012, 09:02 AM
Mid-season I remember saying Cam Newton would still win the OROY and got called on it for not picking Dalton. I thought Dalton's rookie year was impressive, but he worked well within a system surrounded by talented teammates.

I think Dalton will be fine, and I think Cincy can win with him. And having a lower-end QB that can get it done may be advantageous because it lets you be more flexible with the rest of the roster. Super high-end QBs are eventually going to price themselves out of usefulness. It already happened with the Colts and Manning, and the Saints are trying to avoid it with Brees.

BeerBaron
05-21-2012, 09:52 AM
Mid-season I remember saying Cam Newton would still win the OROY and got called on it for not picking Dalton. I thought Dalton's rookie year was impressive, but he worked well within a system surrounded by talented teammates.

I think Dalton will be fine, and I think Cincy can win with him. And having a lower-end QB that can get it done may be advantageous because it lets you be more flexible with the rest of the roster. Super high-end QBs are eventually going to price themselves out of usefulness. It already happened with the Colts and Manning, and the Saints are trying to avoid it with Brees.

Newton was definitely "more impressive" though he didn't register the wins Dalton did. But one thing I'm quick to point out about Newton is that he still has plenty of flaws that were brilliantly covered up last year but will need to be improved upon in order to avoid the sophomore slump. Anyway, different story there...

The bolded part I have some problems with.

For one, any relatively successful QB, whether he is actually a franchise caliber QB or not, will demand ludicrous sums of money. Joe Flacco wanting top 5 QB money is a perfect example. Plus, with guys like Rodgers and Stafford approaching the time to renegotiate in the next few seasons, they're going to raise the QB salary bar even higher.

I see a lot of QBs looking at what Calvin Johnson got and seeing that as their floor. Yes, he's a super-elite WR but he is still a WR. QBs will want more money than that.

So you don't necessarily need to be an elite QB to price yourself that high up.

Additionally, teams that build up a surrounding cast but are limited at QB are going to have financial problems as well. Keeping a team together that you've drafted yourself is difficult. No individual in the mix may demand huge QB money, but add them up, and there will be problems once some of the younger guys get off their rookie deals and start wanting more money.

There are benefits and flaws to both ways, but if given the choice, I'm taking the elite franchise QB and doing what I can with the surrounding talent. In the last 4 Superbowls, the starting QBs for each team were Eli Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Ben again and Kurt Warner.

While it's possible to get far without an elite QB, having one seems to be the most surefire way to get to the Superbowl.

phlysac
05-21-2012, 10:25 AM
I believe he can have every bit as successful a career as Matt Hasslebeck if not even more.

vidae
05-21-2012, 10:32 AM
You gotta remember, Dalton had no offseason before last year and he was still damn impressive. I think the sky is the limit here, seriously. Give him a few offseasons and keep building that team (they're hitting home runs in the last few drafts) and I think you could see a legit top 10-15 QB in the NFL.

jrdrylie
05-21-2012, 10:40 AM
I've been saying that I think he could have a Colt McCoy-esque Sophomore Slump. His weapons are a bit better than McCoy's were but he doesn't have a good running game to back him up. At the end of the day, I don't expect him to slump. Not quite as bad as McCoy, but enough for the Bengals to miss the playoffs.

Long term, I see him as a Matt Cassel type guy. Not great. But good enough to win you a few games, make the playoffs occasionally with the right supporting cast, and keep you from being in a position to grab a top-flight QB prospect.

vidae
05-21-2012, 10:53 AM
I've been saying that I think he could have a Colt McCoy-esque Sophomore Slump. His weapons are a bit better than McCoy's were but he doesn't have a good running game to back him up. At the end of the day, I don't expect him to slump. Not quite as bad as McCoy, but enough for the Bengals to miss the playoffs.

Long term, I see him as a Matt Cassel type guy. Not great. But good enough to win you a few games, make the playoffs occasionally with the right supporting cast, and keep you from being in a position to grab a top-flight QB prospect.

Man, I hope for the Bengals fans here that that doesn't turn out to be the case. It's a constant state of sucktitude that we can't seem to escape from.

PoopSandwich
05-21-2012, 11:13 AM
I think Dalton will be fine, and I think Cincy can win with him. And having a lower-end QB that can get it done may be advantageous because it lets you be more flexible with the rest of the roster. Super high-end QBs are eventually going to price themselves out of usefulness. It already happened with the Colts and Manning, and the Saints are trying to avoid it with Brees.

Price themselves out of usefulness? lower-end QBs give you a chance to compete with a competent group around them. Super high-end QBs give you a chance to win the super bowl.

Matthew Jones
05-21-2012, 11:15 AM
Something like 62%, 3600 yards, 24 TD, and 12 INT per season seems like a realistic projection for the next couple of years.

killxswitch
05-21-2012, 11:30 AM
Price themselves out of usefulness? lower-end QBs give you a chance to compete with a competent group around them. Super high-end QBs give you a chance to win the super bowl.

The pendulum always swings back the other way and I don't think QB pricetags can keep getting higher and higher.

FUNBUNCHER
05-21-2012, 11:39 AM
I don't know how you can make solid predictions from a rookie QB's first NFL season, good or bad.

Even the HOF QBs we all exalt had mediocre rookie seasons.
Dalton's rookie year, for a rookie, was outstanding.
I think he can be a guy who can lead a strong team on both sides of the football to a SB, and keep a team with a few pieces on D and Offense competitive, but IMO they won't play above their talent level.

I like Dalton's football IQ, and so long as he's asked to do the things he can do well and not play out of his mind every Sunday like a Jay Cutler, I think Dalton will end up being a very shrewd pick for the Bengals.

Sloopy
05-21-2012, 11:54 AM
It's really hard to say how good he will be.

As was pointed out in the OP:
They didn't exactly have a tough schedule last year and really didn't beat any good teams.

Overall I think the Bengals became a bit overrated last year.

Let's see if Dalton/Bengals can get a win over the Ravens or Steelers this coming season before we try to judge how good he/they will be.

However, if I had to make a guess, I see a major 2nd year slump for Dalton before he develops into an average starter.

I won't imagine he would keep them from taking a top signal caller in the future though if one fell to them.

descendency
05-21-2012, 11:58 AM
Matt Cassell good.

asdf1223
05-21-2012, 12:03 PM
As long as Jay Gruden is still the OC, I think he'll be the QB.

PoopSandwich
05-21-2012, 12:04 PM
The pendulum always swings back the other way and I don't think QB pricetags can keep getting higher and higher.

Maybe, but I would prefer an Aaron Rodgers and a bunch of non first round talent around him that he elevates to a whole new level than a QB that actually holds talent back.

This is also coming from a Browns fan who hasn't seen good QB play for over a decade.

ShutDwn
05-21-2012, 02:00 PM
Maybe, but I would prefer an Aaron Rodgers and a bunch of non first round talent around him that he elevates to a whole new level than a QB that actually holds talent back.


This is close to what I think of Dalton. I don't see him as a guy who makes lesser talent improve. But I don't think he is a QB that holds a team back, either. As long as there is enough talent around him I think he will do well.

Bengalsrocket
05-21-2012, 03:32 PM
Even as a Bengals fan I know there is still a lot to prove. But Dalton did exactly what was asked of him in his first season. There is little to doubt so far imo.

I think his ceiling his higher than most people think as well. His arm strength isn't that bad. It's a concern, but not at the level that makes him a bust purely based on it.

Brown Leader
05-21-2012, 03:35 PM
My personal comparison for where I see him maxing out is at the level of post-multiple-shoulder-surgeries Chad Pennington. A smart guy, good leader, accurate...but doesn't have the arm strength or general athleticism to take over games like a franchise QB should be able to do.



What? Compared to post surgery Pennington, Dalton's Donovon McNabb. He's got better arm strength and velocity then he's given credit for. Better than Cassel for sure and leagues above Pennington. His mobility apparently is also underrated. Forgetting he was a dual threat guy at TCU? ..ending up with 22 rushing TDs. Even a young Pennington avg only .9 a rush at Marshall. Dalton can move and extend plays without difficulty.

I hated him coming out but after watching and rewatching him from last season I was dead wrong. I like the Hasselbeck comparison but I think he's got a better arm. I'd even say he's a poor man's Troy Aikman with better mobility. If the Bengals hold on to their rec threats and find a back as good or better than Benson, Dalton's capable of keeping them in the playoff picture for years.

Pat Sims 90
05-21-2012, 04:03 PM
Dalton will end up being the Best QB in Franchise History

BigBanger
05-21-2012, 04:21 PM
I'd even say he's a poor man's Troy Aikman.
That's actually a really good comparison. Like, about as perfect a comparison as you could name. Only problem is that he will never have a dynasty to support him like Aikman did. Dalton is a damn good player. He'll always be underrated. He's a ginger with average physical tools, but the guy is a winner.

The Alex
05-21-2012, 09:45 PM
I'm stealing BeerBaron and killxswitch's avatars for next year's draft.

whatadai
05-21-2012, 11:15 PM
Mid-season I remember saying Cam Newton would still win the OROY and got called on it for not picking Dalton. I thought Dalton's rookie year was impressive, but he worked well within a system surrounded by talented teammates.
Cam worked well within a system surrounded by talented teammates too. Sorry, but take Steve Smith and Jonathan Stewart away and people would be calling Cam Newton a bust right now.

Iamcanadian
05-23-2012, 12:48 AM
I believe he can have every bit as successful a career as Matt Hasslebeck if not even more.

This is exactly what I was thinking.

NotMyJob
05-23-2012, 02:14 AM
he can be real good.

there is a lot of things to like about Dalton. his accuracy is spot-on most of the time. he's more mobile than a lot of people seem to think. he has great character. he's a winner.

people ***** about his arm strength a lot, but i think it is more than good enough. he has supposedly put on about 10lbs of muscle in the off-season, but when it comes to arm strength typically you either have it or you don't. it isn't a big deal to me as some people make it sound, though.

the main problem i had with Dalton in 2011 was his tendency to stare down his primary receiver. i think that with a full-offseason and his rookie experience, he'll be more comfortable with the offense and we won't be seeing as much of that.

Dalton is already better than many QBs in the league. i think he could potentially be top 10 in the future if the team continues to draft well (since we know damn well they won't grab anybody in FA :D)

scottyboy
05-23-2012, 04:53 AM
he's in a really good position with a TON of good weapons in the passing game and a solid Oline around him. the thing is though, and I know it's only going to be his 2nd season, but I'm not sure I see that ability in him to completely take over a game and be dominant down the stretch and in the playoffs ala Brees, the Mannings, Brady and Rodgers. Yes, I know that means he wouldn't be a top 5 QB, but those are the guys who've been winning super bowls of late, are they not? I like him and the Bengals, but I'm not sure he's got that ability to do that

bigbluedefense
05-23-2012, 11:00 AM
He's like Chad Pennington before the shoulder injuries. I think he can be a very successful qb, I think he's got the ability to win playoff games and maybe a SB with the right team around him.

I don't think he's capable of having a team built through him. I think that's a difference that people often ignore.

You can be a franchise qb without having the ability to have a team built through you. A franchise qb to me is a guy who is good enough to win a SB with. An elite qb is a guy who you can build your team through. I see Dalton as a franchise guy, but not an elite guy.

And there's nothing wrong with that. The goal of every team is to win the SB. Everything else is irrelevant. And Dalton can do that, but you have to design your team to minimize his weaknesses and play the game in a way that you don't rely on him to spread em out and wing it all over the field. He's not that guy.

He's a lot like Matt Ryan in the sense that the guy has ability to win a SB, but not the ability to put the team on his back. He needs a great defense and run game to take pressure off of him.

I like Dalton, I think he's a franchise qb. But they have to build around him, not through him.

That's the point that I want to make. Build around him, not through him and he'll be great.

BeerBaron
05-23-2012, 01:00 PM
See, my definition for a "franchise QB" is someone who has the tools required to become one of your "elite" QBs.

It's funny that you mention Matt Ryan as well, because I have him on my "Game Manager +" level. These are guys, like Ryan and Pennington and probably Dalton, who will allow the team to play to their talent level like a typical game managing QB would, but with the occasional boost to that "above and beyond" level of play like an elite QB. You just shouldn't count on them to do it all of the time, what I fear their teams will eventually lean on Ryan and Dalton to do.