There’s another quarterback in the AFC North who began his NFL career in the same manner as Andy Dalton has. Joe Flacco came into the NFL and was used in a “game-manger” role for a loaded Baltimore Ravens team.
With an annual top five defense and a running game highlighted by Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, Flacco was not much more than a game-manger in the same way Dalton has been for the Bengals for his first three seasons.
Perhaps, one of Flacco’s former coaches and current Bengals offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson, is just what Dalton needs to help him ascend in the same way Flacco did in 2012 when he helped lead the Ravens to a championship while being named Super Bowl MVP.
“He did a ton for Flacco. He came in and had success out of the gate,” Harbaugh said, via Bengals.com. “I think they’ve had great coaches all along.
“He’ll do a good job. Paul’s been with Mike the whole time, he knows the system, knows the scheme. I’m sure they’re not planning on missing a beat.”
From 2008-09, Jackson was Baltimore’s quarterbacks coach under head coach John Harbaugh.
In 2008, Jackson was vital in Flacco’s development as he became the first rookie QB to win two playoff games in NFL history as the Ravens advanced to the AFC Championship game.
Having a strong supporting cast allowed Jackson to slowly ease Flacco into a more prominent role in the offense as time wore on.
Jackson helped the Ravens advance to the postseason in both seasons and Flacco improve from 29,00 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and an 80 QB rating as a rookie to 21 TDs, 12 picks and 3,613 yards and an 88 QB rating in Year 2.
Too often since Dalton came into the NFL, former OC Jay Gruden asked him to go out and throw 40-50 passes in games that were close and didn’t need to be pass-happy.
Abandoning the run game also happened far too often, leaving all of Dalton’s weaknesses to be exposed and taken advantage of by opposing defenses.
With Jackson, there’s reason to believe he’ll be better at putting Dalton in situations where he’ll thrive and using him less when he would struggle.