Andy Dalton has a Weak Arm. This is so passé. There were several passes that I can immediate reference Andy Dalton throwing as a rookie quarterback which left AJ Green either slowing his route so as to make a circus catch at the balls’ apex or having to having come back for it completely. Further, Dalton’s throwing motion on deep balls last year looked like a middle school kid throwing the pigskin around with high school kids in the back yard – loaded up hard on the back leg and giving it an unnecessary amount of loft to make up for strength.
This year Dalton showed to camp around 20 lbs bulked up, and instead of looking weak, looked more like he was trying to bracket in his trajectory and over-throwing more than under-throwing. To be fair, I can’t recall a negative example of his arm strength this season, and some of his mid-to-late season tosses have been pretty money. In the past few games Dalton has been a bit inaccurate on the roll-out, nearly being picked twice in the past two games, but that has more to do with gauging angles than arm strength. In actuality, when he throws on the run, the ball leaves his hand with a significant degree of zip.
So it kills me when announcers, bloggers and tweebs talk about Dalton’s arm strength like it’s a given. Watch some new tape guys.
Bengals Will Select a DE in the First Round. I’m not sure what sort of Borg-like groupthink is going on within the ranks of America’s football gurus, but the popular consensus is that Cincinnati’s pass-rush is in need of improvement. What part of “leads the League in sacks” warrants first round attention? At this point, I’ve yet to find a single mock draft this year that has the Bengals selecting anything other than a defensive end. That being said, Cincinnati has Robert Geathers, Carlos Dunlap, Michael Johnson and Wallace Gilberry currently on the roster towing the ends of the line, and notably, former first rounder Jamaal Anderson waiting in the wings to return next year from a torn quad tendon. Geathers and Johnson are both free agents; one will likely be resigned and the other replaced with Anderson, as the Bengals wisely sat this season a nautical mile below the salary cap because of a huge crop of contract expirations.
But to be clear; I get selecting a defensive end in principal, but there are so many variables right now that making this prediction so definitively and universally disrespects a team that has drafted so successfully the past three years and is currently playing at such a high level. First, the Bengals have only drafted a defensive end in the first round once in the past decade (2005). Also, it’s important to realize that while talent is fairly deep in this draft class for defensive lineman and linebackers, almost every other position is relatively weak. The Bengals are well regarded as a positional drafting team, which means they draft high on needed positions whose value will likely fall in the next round. In short, if Kenny Vaccaro is available, the defensive end will have to be a very impressive talent on a slide in order for Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer to take his eyes off the strong safety of his dreams. Feeding into that, there is also the possibility that the Bengals look to upgrade their pass-rush via free agency with some of the big names that hitting the market this year like Dwight Freeney, Cliff Avril, or Osi Umenyiora.
Selecting a defensive end isn’t a bad idea; I’m just sick of it being the only idea.