Alex Van Pelt on Andy Dalton: He can be elite

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Aaron Rodgers wasn’t happy to see quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt leave the Packers this offseason and Van Pelt said it was “nice of him to acknowledge that” during an interview with the Bengals website this week.

Van Pelt was being interviewed because he is now the quarterbacks coach for the Bengals, where he’ll be working with Andy Dalton rather than Rodgers. It’s a significant change for Van Pelt after a long run in Green Bay as he moves to coaching a quarterback that doesn’t have the same skill set that Rodgers brings to the table.

Van Pelt said “you play to the player’s strengths” when asked how his coaching style will change in his new home and he made it clear that he sees plenty of them to work with in his review of Dalton’s recent work.

“I got a chance to come in and watch all the tape from the last two years,” Van Pelt said. “I wasn’t quite as in tune with Andy as I was when he came out in the draft. Obviously I evaluated him then and had a high opinion of him then. See the same exact things on tape. I think he’s a very, very good quarterback and a playoff caliber quarterback. He does a lot of really, really good things. The more tape I watched, the more excited I got. I think this guy has potential to be an elite player in the league. It’s our job to challenge him to get to that next level.”

Dalton is entering his eighth season and that makes it fair to wonder if a leap to another level is a likely outcome from any amount of coaching. Playing cleaner than Dalton did while turning the ball over 16 times last season seems reasonable, however, and getting that done should help push the Bengals back in the direction of the playoff berth they’ve missed out on the last two years.

40 responses to “Alex Van Pelt on Andy Dalton: He can be elite

  1. It depends on your definition of the contrived term “elite”. If your answer is good enough to carry a mediocre team into the playoffs, then no. If your answer is good enough to win 10-12 games with a good team around you, then yes. Or, it could be the usual sportstalk answer that winning one playoff game somehow means anything, which it doesn’t, then also no.

  2. He’s right. No one in the league can throw the ball out of bounds or 5 yards over a receivers head better than Andy Dalton. Seriously though, if they can teach Dalton to stop being so safe, maybe give AJ a couple more jump balls, I think Bengals fans will be a lot happier. Also, throwing it away on 4th down is pretty dumb, maybe Van Pelt can teach him that.

  3. Alex Van Pelt is clearly trying to swindle people. Going from Aaron Rodgers to Andy Dalton is like driving a Porsche all day then hopping in a golf cart.

  4. Van Pelt wasnt anything special in GB – as a Packer fan he never did jack with our backups and improving them. Rodgers is Rodgers and doesnt need much coaching – good move shipping him off.

  5. Without an offensive line, a tight end, a quality #2 wr, and a productive #3 wr…

    … Andy Dalton will be TOP 5 in sacks and only 16th in yards.

    25 td – 12 int for 2017 wasn’t too bad when you only have 2 seconds to throw the ball to a triple teamed A.J. Green.

  6. Andy Dalton is not elite. He has a career rating of 88.7 and throws half as many INTs as TDs, and he’s never showed up on the big stage with ratings between 44 and 63 in the playoffs. If surrounded by talent, a great coach and with a top-5 D, this guy would be a little better than Eli Manning (career 83.7 and notably worse INT stats), and undoubtedly the Bengals make Dalton look worse than he is, but on a good team he’d be a very-good-but-not-elite QB with, just maybe, one career SB ring.

  7. Well, if it’s 4th down and throwing it away means not taking a big sack that would set your team back even further, then that would be acceptable.
    Have seen Dalton play a lot, and he looks pretty good at times, terrible at others. Overall, he seems to be an above average NFL QB that can win with solid talent around him. Whether he’s good enough to lift a good team and win a championship very much remains to be seen? I have my doubts.

  8. My standard answer – what else is his coach going to say? Especially in the offseason and the preseason, everyone is elite – until you start playing games. Andy Dalton has played a lot of games and he is not elite, nor will he be. I am personally not sure he is anything more than middling.

    It’s not all about rating for me. It’s also not all about rings. Great QBs of all time have crappy ratings due to differences in the game, and some don’t even have rings. But this guy fails on the big stage, every time, and that is something that is hard to overlook. You can never be elite if you can’t perform in primetime.

  9. Isnt it shocking how a great qb can make his qb coach look good.maybe it will work out in Cinn,maybe not so much.

  10. Yeah but is Jaworski elite? I know Flacco is, and Kaepernick is one of the greatest of all time.

  11. bakerhawk says:
    February 22, 2018 at 10:10 am
    I think he’s better than foles,


    Based upon what exactly? Postseason success?

  12. What else is he supposed to say; it’s not like he’s going to bury his starting QB in an interview before the new league year starts. If you want to know what he thinks of Dalton, let’s see if and where the Bengals draft a QB. They should draft high at QB anyway with McCarron being an unrestricted free agent.

  13. Not to rain on the Hall of Fame parade but he’s coming off his second worst year as pro–fewest yards, 2nd worst completion percentage, 2nd worst rating, 2nd worst yards per game… He COULD be elite in the same way you could say that about any players since it’s not fully 100% impossible but let’s be realistic here.

  14. jm91rs says:
    February 22, 2018 at 9:01 am
    He’s right. No one in the league can throw the ball out of bounds or 5 yards over a receivers head better than Andy Dalton. Seriously though, if they can teach Dalton to stop being so safe, maybe give AJ a couple more jump balls, I think Bengals fans will be a lot happier. Also, throwing it away on 4th down is pretty dumb, maybe Van Pelt can teach him that.

    This is the most accurate assessment of Dalton. I can tell you are a Bengal fan or watch a lot of Bengal games because this is dead on. I get being safe at certain times, but that should never be the case when throwing to AJ Green! Either he catches it or pass interference. How many times has a DB intercepted a ball out jumping a ball to AJ? Give him a chance!! Throwing the ball away on 4th down when converting is your only chance at a comeback could possibly be the dumbest play I’ve ever seen and I believe he has done that multiple times! That is inexcusable

  15. Lol at any sentence that includes the Red BB Gun, the world elite and does not have the word “not” before the word “elite”

  16. In 15 Dalton was playing elite level until in typical Bungles catastrophe got injured. Since then the O line and receivers outside AJ Green have vanished. The running game was lackluster last year due to the O line but both line and running game showed glimpses of improvement. A fast paced offense might be key to Dalton having a resurgence. That’s sort of how Hue Jackson utilized him on quick releases but now notch it up to Lazors style, he might thrive. Honestly the slower the pace, I think Andy does worse. He always been streaky. If the O line improves in the off-season and if John Ross can be utilized as a number 2, we may very well see a resurgence from AD.

  17. Andy Dalton is not anything he already hasn’t become. He’s been a starter for 7 years, will be 31 next season, and was never that good to begin with. We’ve already seen the best Dalton had, and we’ve seen him shrink under the brighter lights year after year after year after year (after year).

    Oh but yeah, with less talent around him than ever, with worse protection than he’s ever had, as he passes the age of 30 after years of choking, yeah he’s suddenly gonna become “elite”. Sure.

  18. The narrative that he needs talent around him to win is nonsensical. He’s NEVER had a complete team around him. NEVER. All the pieces have been there, sure … but never in the same season. One phase is always lacking, whether it’s injured receivers, non effective rushing attack or insufficient blocking. Something has always been missing from this offense.

  19. Sounds like Van Pelt suffers from Greg Jennings syndrome in thinking that HE made the QB look great, not the other way around. Jennings bashed Rodgers saying that he was made Rodgers look good by being open all the time and burned his bridges all the way to Minneapolis with much fanfare. Then he saw balls sail over his head, bounce in front of him, etc, instead of hitting him in the hands in tight windows in full stride as he enjoyed with the Packers.

  20. Elite could be viewed in a lot of different ways.

    Is he Elite compared to me? – Absolutely
    Is he Elite compared to most QBs in the league? – Could argue yes…
    Is he an Elite STARTING QB? No, defiantly not.

  21. All QBs ‘can be elite’. But very few of them actually are. I would say Dalton is ‘good’ not ‘great’ and definitely not elite.

  22. People forget but when daltons supporting cast is healthy he’s very good he’s just not gonna carry a team like a Tom Brady or Peyton manning

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