I’ve already attempted to tap the brakes on the Andy Dalton starting-quarterback bandwagon, but the thing keeps chugging along. So let me do my best to pull the emergency brake.
It’s widely accepted that rookie quarterbacks need time to adjust to the NFL game. The game is faster. The plays are more complex. The reads and coverages are more difficult to diagnose and discern. Common logic dictates that you let rookie quarterbacks sit and learn if they can. And that’s in a normal NFL cycle.
Well, we’re in a full-out abnormal phase. Rookies can’t get playbooks. Veterans can’t get any coaching. Throw in the fact that the Bengals have a new offensive coordinator, a new receivers coach, and an uncertain starting running back, and you have an offense that is pretty much a mess.
And yet, many team officials - and some fans too – want a rookie quarterback, one from a lesser college conference, to start the season opener? On the road?
They’re all nuts. Making Andy Dalton the starter in the first game of the season would put him in the express lane to Klinglerville, which is no place to be. Thankfully, quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese seems to sense as much, stating that the team will pursue a veteran option if it can.
“We really have no one that’s taken a real NFL snap,” Zampese told Joe Reedy. “It’s prudent to look into that area if that person is the right fit for us.”
A veteran quarterback, whether he’s on the roster now or not, is the only logical choice to become the Bengals starter in the absence of Carson Palmer. Putting Dalton under center too early will ruin his career, there’s simply too many things working against him.
It would be bad for everyone inolved.
A simple recipe for disaster.