There’s plenty to like about Cincinnati Bengals quarterback And Dalton after two seasons(7,067 passing yards, 52 total TDs, two playoff appearances), but there are some negatives preventing him from being regarded as even a top-15 QB (70 sacks, lack of deep-ball accuracy, 0-2 in postseason).
But you can’t completely fault him for not being a more consistent player. He was thrown right into the fire his rookie year after no real offseason, then had to throw to the likes of Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson (27 combined catches since leaving Cincinnati) behind an offensive line that featured Clint Boling and Nate Livings, while handing it off to one-dimensional running backs like Cedric Benson and BenJarvus Green-Ellis (27-combined receptions playing for the Bengals).
But there will be no excuses in 2013. He has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, and will have one of the best receivers in the game in A.J. Green in his third year, as well as the additions of Giovani Bernard, Tyler Eifer,t and a healthy Mohamed Sanu.
Dalton is very excited about all of the weapons he will have this year as he looks to take the next step in becoming a “true” franchise quarterback:
When you put Jermaine and Tyler in there who are both 6-6 and then A.J. who is 6-4, we’ve got some big targets to throw to. And then you have Mo (Sanu) who is 6-2. We’ve got targets to throw to and spreading the ball around. It’s all about options” after he hit Gresham down the middle over a zone for a score out of another two tight-end set. That’s the thing.
The only real question now is how to properly utilize them:
When you get in those situations, who are you going to take away?”Dalton asked. “A.J.? Jermaine? Tyler? That’s what they’re going to have start figuring out.
Those are good problems to have though.