Originally posted on WhoDeyFans  |  Last updated 1/17/13
There will be plenty of angst from certain quadrants of Bengals Nation in regards to Andy Dalton over the next 6 months. The pessimists among us are plentiful and proud. But are they right? Will certain fans try to sack Dalton during the off-season?Andy Dalton: signed through 2014 2012 was a mixed bag for Andy Dalton. He improved in most important stats: TDs thrown (+7), yds thrown (+271), completion % (+4.2), and QB rating (+7.0) among them. But he also increased in picks (+3) and in sacks (+22), many of which resulted from either scrambling too soon or holding the ball too long. Cue the hand-wringing. Let’s be honest. On one hand, any derivative of the word “regress” is just wrong. Most of his stats improved from last year. We might not have seen as much progress as we had hoped, but he didn’t get worse. On the other hand, he made some bad decisions with the ball–particularly in December–and struggled at times with accuracy, particularly when going deep down field. He grew in many areas but not all. And that is n-o-r-m-a-l for QBs in their second season. Take a look at the second year stats for Matt Ryan, who is poised to break into the “elite QB” conversation. You’ll see a mixed bag. Same goes for Drew Brees and Philip Rivers in their second full seasons. Or look at Joe Flacco (a closer comparison for Dalton in terms of ceiling IMO… both may be top 10 QBs one day but I don’t see either being a top 5 guy) in his second season, and you’ll see numbers very similar to Dalton last year. The bottom line is this: Don’t panic. The second season just isn’t a good gauge for a QBs career path. If we do not see a clear step forward in his third season, then we will be having a very different conversation next year (against a loud chorus of “I old you so” from Pessimism Inc.) about what to do at QB. But we are not there yet. Andy deserves another year of development. Besides, there is squat among free agent QBs and the team is not going to draft another QB in the high rounds this year, so all of the consternation won’t change one thing anyway. Bruce Gradkowski: unrestricted free agent For the sake of Dalton’s continued development, I would like to see the Bengals keep Gradkowski for another year or two. As Andy comes into his own over the next couple years, having a familiar, experienced support structure behind him will still be important as he gains confidence. Rather than making Dalton the veteran at the position in his third year, let Grad be the old man of the group a little longer. He is serviceable if needed for a short run, and he allows the team to carry just two QBs and carry an extra man elsewhere if they choose. He won’t exactly be in high demand, so he price should stay under $2M/yr, which is certainly affordable. Zac Robinson: signed through 2014 The Bengals like Zac well enough to keep him on the practice squad for two years. With his eligibility for the PS expired, they have to either put him on the team or release him. To stay on, his job this off-season is to prove to the coaches that he can perform at least equal to Gradkowski, saving them money if they choose him and let Grad go. Free Agent Wish List Talk about a thin crop! You might get an upgrade in backups by bringing in Tarvaris Jackson, but I feel sorry for any team sorting through this list in search of a starter. The best option on the list is Matt Moore, a completely unknown quantity. After that, they’re left picking through names like Rex Grossman, Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Jordan Palmer… Ugh. Draft Options I’ll fall out of my chair if the war room goes for a QB before the fifth round. By that point, he’s pretty much just a guy to keep Robinson honest with a little competition. For a late pick, as a Big10 guy, I’d take Matt McGloin of Penn State late in the sixth to serve in that role. To lead Penn State to a good year after the catastrophic off-season they had, the kid has to have a little something as a leader.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Community college hockey player leaves penalty box, attacks referee

Tampa Bay Lightning trade star goaltender Ben Bishop to the LA Kings in surprise deal

Divac makes bold promise after trading DeMarcus Cousins

Popovich praises Magic, wishes him well with Lakers

Report: Andrew Bogut likely to join Cavs after buyout

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Broncos expected to 'at least discuss' Romo

Report: Raiders don't expect to keep Latavius Murray

Report: Josh Hamilton needs another knee operation

Ball's father says comment about Lakers was misquoted

Revis hints he is open to taking significant pay cut

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker