Cincinnati Bengals: Five key position battles to watch
Bengals position battle: Joe Burrow’s backup
Most of the time when a quarterback battle is mentioned, it’s for the starting job. For the Bengals, there is no doubt who will be the quarterback this year. Joe Burrow was drafted number one and essentially beat out Andy Dalton as the team’s leader. The question for Cincinnati comes down to who ends up as the second-string quarterback.
The competition is between Ryan Finley and Jake Dolegala who are both entering their second year with the team. Finley was drafted in the fourth round of the draft while Dolegala was undrafted but picked up by the Bengals. Neither of these quarterbacks were highly touted out of college and saw little success last year.
Finley got the chance to start when Dalton was benched, but he proved himself more of a game manager and did not really have a positive impact in the contests he participated in. Rather than show the team he could be their guy, he proved the need to draft Burrow.
Dolegala has all of the physical attributes of an NFL quarterback but needs to become more consistent in order to solidify his spot as an NFL caliber player.
While this position battle is the least important to the overall success of the Bengals this year, if Joe Burrow goes down to injury for an extended period of time, the backup will be thrust into the limelight quickly. The coaching staff will need to choose between the game manager (higher-floor, lower-ceiling) or the raw prospect with the physical tools (low-floor, higher-ceiling) to push Burrow this year.