Jay Gruden: Andy Dalton has a long way to go


Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden’s work with quarterback Andy Dalton has paid off for both him and the Bengals over the last two years.

The team has advanced to the playoffs in each of the last two years, the first time they’ve pulled that off in three decades, and Gruden has landed head coaching interviews with other teams. That’s not bad, considering Gruden’s feeling that Dalton needs to get better in every phase of the game and that the quarterback hasn’t started to scratch the surface of his potential.

“And obviously he needs to get better with his deep ball accuracy and touch, and there’s not really one part of his game that he can’t really improve upon. He has to get better in every phase — scramble ability, foot quickness, accuracy, deep accuracy, short, anticipation,” Gruden said in an interview with WLW, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “He’s got a long way to go. He’s done some great things for a second-year quarterback, won a lot of games and thrown some good touchdown passes, but we feel like he has not come close to his potential. That’s our job to get it out of him. And he knows he’s gotta play better, and we all do.”

The deep ball issue is one that has dogged Dalton since his college days and it is one that the team hoped to improve in between his first and second seasons. Their play calling suggests they don’t believe he made much growth in that area, just 37 throws of more than 20 yards, nor does his average of 5.99 yards per pass attempt.

Dalton hasn’t liked hearing the criticism about his arm strength from those outside the organization in the past. We’ll see if he has any thoughts about hearing it publicly from the guy running the offense.

18 responses to “Jay Gruden: Andy Dalton has a long way to go

  1. “The deep ball issue is one that has dogged Dalton since his college days and it is one that the team hoped to improve”

    You don’t coach/teach the long ball. You find a great long ball thrower and you coach up/work on the short stuff. Mark Rypien was a great example of that. If you don’t have the long ball it’s hard to coach, kind of like coaching speed or height.

  2. Having watched alot of Bengals games this season, Dalton tended to overthrow AJ Green on the deep routes so I don’t think arm strength is the issue.

  3. Of course you go with the arm strength question when that is NOT what Gruden said.That`s just another example of the media twisting what is said to fit what they want the story to be.
    Gruden is talking about his accuracy not strength.
    The reason they lost the playoff game at Houston is he OVER threw a wide open AJ Green with 2 minutes to go in the game.
    He can throw it far enough he just missed way too many open receivers with throws that were too long,too short and way too many times out of bounds.

  4. Where did Jay Gruden say he didn’t. have the arm strength? It was a acurracy issue anyways Dalton was actually OVERthrowing. the recievers this year. This is coming from a guy who watched 16 out of 17 of their games this year. (I had to work and missed the first Steelers game.)

    Sounds like Dalton and Alper have a long way to go.

  5. I’m just glad to see the coaching staff recognize, that as of right now, where Andy Dalton sits, his performances aren’t good enough to warrant a franchise QB label. It would be a shame to see him still at status quo a few years from now, and the Bengals extend him as their starter, without even considering other options because love is blind.

  6. I still say bring in Jeff Blake to see if he can teach AD how he threw his patented moonball with touch.

    Dalton still seems to throw his particular ‘deep’ ball on a line that suddenly dies from inertia near the intended target such that the ‘trajectory’ is somewhat resembling of a hockey stick. More air under it would give the receiver more time & opportunity to adjust …

  7. I think Lewis and Gruden are partly to blame for his regression in the playoff game. He has never excelled with the deep ball but he has hit enough of them to keep teams honest. After the Steelers win Lewis and Gruden both griped that he needed to make adjustments on the deep ball. Worse thing they could have done was question his mechanics heading into the playoffs. When Green was wide open on that GO route at the end of the Texans game that should have been an easy throw, but for some reason (Lewis and Gruden’s head games) he tried to hit the freaking roof with the air that he put under that throw. That was, by far, his worse overthrow of the season. Wasn’t even close. Dalton has the ability to be a good QB. Bengals need to learn how to stretch the middle of the field with TEs. To me the problem is more scheme than it is QB.

  8. Guy has a noodle arm…

    Sadly, the one who suffers most is A.J. Green…
    Who one can only imagine how good he could be with a strong-armed QB???

  9. Dalton: “I think Jay Gruden can improve on his play calling – intentionally avoiding our no.1 weapon is just stupid … say what you want about Favre, but he at least gave his weapons shots at making plays.”

  10. Dalton is a solid QB in this league and will be for some time. In 2 or 3 years when Peyton & Tom retire. He’s no worse than Eli, Romo, Stafford or Schaub….surround him with enough talent & he’ll be fine! Is he Rodgers, Ben or Luck?? No, but he is MORE than capable….and he’s a good leader something Palmer NEVER HAD!!

  11. Oh, how I would love to hear some constructive criticism of my team’s QB, Stafford, from Lions coaches. They consistently go as far out of their way as possible to never, ever, under any circumstance, admit that Matt Stafford could improve. How sensitive must they think he is?

  12. He’s not accurate with his deep balls because he has a weak arm.

    He’s putting everything he has into it to get the ball downfield, but then it’s off target.

    Saying “he overthrew AJ Green” is pure ignorance, nothing more.

  13. I have watched every throw of Andy Dalton’s pro career, and I am totally underwhelmed. I’m a die hard Bengals fan and have made excuses for a lot of our players, coaches and decision but unless Andy Dalton makes a big leap forward in 2013 the Bengals need to start looking for a new starter.

    To me the arm strength is an issue but his inability to put balls in catchable positions is abysmal. When you have AJ Green you don’t have to be perfect you just have to be close and he has failed at doing that far too often. I keep saying to myself that he will make the adjustments but I’m less certain. I hope he can watch the tape and stop throwing off his back foot and give his outrageously talented receiving core a chance to make plays for him. If he doesn’t then we will be squandering another solid year from our defense and probably be one and done again in the playoffs.

    Ps I really am rooting for him because his leadership is fantastic and I really like his attitude but as Alex Smith knows being a good guy and an average QB only goes so far.

  14. The headline of this article could easily be reversed to read, “Andy Dalton: Jay Gruden has a long way to go”.

    Gruden’s play calling is one of the most important factors in Dalton’s development. When your predictable play calling results in consecutive 3 & outs for almost half a game, it is hard for a young QB to develop timing and rhythm.

  15. From what I noticed, Dalton held the ball too long and got sacked or made a bad throw because he was rushed. To me, the WRs, TEs, RBs, and/or play design are to blame because they didn’t get open fast enough. I think they have the young recievers who will get better, except maybe an exposive pass catching RB. So Gruden needs to work on play design to get other guys open and/or prevent AJ from getting double teamed.

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