The Cincinnati Bengals opened training camp yesterday, and the microscope was, of course, on Andy Dalton, who could end up receiving Colin Kaepernick-type money on his new deal if he can prove that he is truly a franchise quarterback. Dalton has been a lightning-rod for criticism, as a common belief is that he is “good enough to take you to the playoffs, but not good enough to be a true franchise guy who can take you to the Super Bowl”. There were times last season when Dalton was beyond brilliant, but there were also times when the streaky QB was awful. With a deep roster, a talented defense, a strong running game, a stout line, and good receivers, the Bengals are a dangerous team in the playoffs if Dalton can get hot.
ESPN NFL Nation’s Coley Harvey writes that Dalton was incredibly impressive on his first day of training camp, as he impressed everyone watching with several impressive throws. Harvey called the TCU product “efficient” and specifically highlighted Dalton’s deep ball as being the standout of the day. He threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green, in which Green burned veteran cornerback Adam Jones.
Harvey reports that Green stated after practice that he and Dalton have made it a point to work on their deep ball this offseason. The early returns have certainly been positive, and it’s something I know the Miami Dolphins QB-WR tandem of Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace is looking to accomplish. Both Dalton and Green have been hard at work this offseason, as Harvey also added that Dalton worked with renowned QB mechanics coach Tom House, who notably works with superstar QB Tom Brady each offseason.
It was just the first day of training camp, but it sounds like it was such an impressive day for Andy Dalton that you can’t help but feel an aura of positivity surrounding the Bengals oft-maligned QB. Hopefully he can keep this up next season, because that would make the Bengals an even more accomplished squad.