Ryan Finley is not the answer to the Cincinnati Bengals offensive problems
By Larry Spicer
Andy Dalton has struggled to get on track this season which has some fans questioning if its time to give Ryan Finley a shot at quarterback. However, the rookie is not the answer to the Bengals offensive woes, and here is why.
If you have watched the Cincinnati Bengals play football this season, one of the first things that most likely stick out to you is how dreadful the offense has been. This has everyone in the organization scrambling as well as Bengals fans asking what is the answer to fix this offense. After all, Zac Taylor came into this season touted as one of the next great offensive guru’s, branching of the highly sought after Sean McVay coaching tree.
The truth is there are many factors to the offensive deficiency in Cincinnati. Honestly, there are more questions than answers at this point which has fans asking for something or anything really, to right the ship that is sinking fast this 2019 NFL season. One question I’ve noticed that is starting to come up is why not give rookie quarterback Ryan Finley a shot?
Although I understand why fans would ask this question, I’m afraid Finley isn’t the answer they are looking for. I will admit that he did some nice things in the pre-season and giving him some snaps in “mop-up” situations is perfectly fine, in order to gain some experience. Just don’t expect him to come in and blow everyone away. Finley, though fine for a back-up, is not the savior of this franchise.
Finley was a fourth-round pick for a reason and yes even though I realize there have been excellent quarterbacks taken in the later rounds of the draft, they are few and far between. I’m sure Tom Brady will come to mind for many, but honestly, he is an extreme rarity and you cannot put that kind of pressure on someone selected that deep in the draft. You must also ask yourself this, Besides Brady and Dak Prescott, how many other starters are in the NFL selected round four or later?
This is not to bash the young signal-caller. He has shown some positive traits. His pocket presence is excellent and he moves around very well between the tackles. He also shows some nice accuracy when given time as well. The trouble is he doesn’t throw with hardly any NFL level velocity which will prove to be troublesome at this level of football. In this league, you have to be able to throw into tight windows and make tight throws on the sidelines. Arm strength does matter to a degree.
He was able to float balls into receivers during the pre-season, however, that was against competition just trying to compete for a roster spot. NFL starters are a completely different ball game. The fact remains, Finley simply isn’t an upgrade over Andy Dalton. The only upgrade he offers is pocket mobility but outside of that, Dalton holds a significant edge in ability and experience.
With the Red Rifle’s contract coming to an end soon, his replacement should come in a future first-round pick. Even then it isn’t necessarily a bad idea to let Dalton finish his final years while sitting that potential first-round quarterback, assuming that is the route they go.
Finley fits perfect as a number two guy and could provide solid stability in that role. Currently, at 24 years old he has most likely tapped out his upside and that’s OK. He can still serve a great purpose for the Cincinnati Bengals, even in a backup role.