ESPNU aired a rebroadcast of the Rose Bowl the other day, giving me a perfect opportunity to study the Bengals’ newest quarterback, Andy Dalton.
When he hasn’t been riding bulls, sitting in race cars or creating controversies inside the Bengals organization, Chad Ochocinco has been doing the same. According to NFL.com, here’s what Ochocinco had to say about Dalton.
“I understand we drafted Andy Dalton, who is a great quarterback, and after getting him, I’ve done my own homework in watching him … and he’s really good.”
I have a few less career receptions than Ochocinco (with zero), but I usually have good instincts when it comes to talent. And I think Dalton has plenty of it. After watching the Rose Bowl – the biggest game of Dalton’s life – I’m even more confident that he can be a quality NFL quarterback, especially in a West Coast offense. Dalton was extremely accurate, fitting balls into tight windows, hitting receivers in stride, doing everything he could to give his team the opportunity to win. I was also impressed with Dalton’s guts and his ability to run the ball when he had to – often head first.
The only thing I didn’t see was prototype NFL size – and that doesn’t matter as much as you think. Drew Brees is 6-feet even. Steve Young is 6-2. So is Dalton.
So the kid is tall enough. And after watching the Rose Bowl, I’m convinced he’s good enough too. Dalton, playing on what most people believe was the less-talented team, finished 15-for-23 with 219 yards and a touchdown. He had 28 yards oand another touchdown rushing. And his team won too, 21-19.
I’d still prefer he started the season on the bench and had some time to adjust to the NFL game, but I think in the right offense, featuring a lot of short passes and some check-downs to Bernard Scott, Dalton will win games.
In this football-less summer, it was good to see a game, even if it was almost six months old.
And that game bodes well for the Bengals.