The world of pro football is light on tales of quarterbacks drastically improving their arm strength.
Signal-callers saddled with pop-gun arms are typically stuck that way, but today’s quarterbacks also live in a world of cutting-edge coaching academies and sports-science discoveries that yesteryear’s players could only dream of.
Andy Dalton has never been known for his arm strength, but the Bengals passer reportedly has seen tangible improvements in his velocity after working with gurus Tom House and Adam Dedeaux at their 3DQB training facility in Los Angeles.
“His arm is as strong as ever right now,” Dedeaux said of Dalton after a recent throwing session in Dallas, per Bengals.com. “The jump from two years ago to last year, we’ve seen a pretty big jump in his arm strength. We test for velocity, and test for distance and I think he’s even probably surprised himself sometimes. For every one mile an hour he can be pretty close to a yard.”
If the Eagles weren’t thrilled to see second-year quarterback Carson Wentz work at 3DQB this offseason — a puzzling reaction toward a young quarterback with mechanical issues to iron out — the Bengals have embraced Dalton’s offseason explorations.
Hue Jackson, the current Browns coach and ex-Bengals play-caller, and current coordinator Ken Zampese openly encouraged Dalton to seek offseason help after the 2014 campaign. Remember, these workouts happen during a time when players and coaches are forbidden from gathering.
Fans witnessed a transformation in Dalton’s play beginning in 2015 — when he operated at an MVP level for half a season — and Dedeaux says the Bengals signal-caller isn’t finished improving.
“He was throwing the ball as well, if not better, than he ever has,” Dedeaux said of their time together. “Right now he’s in the prime of his career. I just wanted to see him with more variables and more randomness going on, making sure he’s staying true to form and he is, he looks great. We’re just looking for that one percent of what we’re always working on, but one percent better every time. Arm strength. Getting rid of the ball faster. Good feet. Sound mechanics. Similar themes, just taking it to the next level.”
It’s May — a time when offseason buzz can explode into a toxic flower of hyperbole — but the Bengals find themselves dipped in optimism.
With a healthy A.J. Green leading a receiving core that drafted lightning-fast rookie John Ross and pass-catching running back Joe Mixon, the feeling in Bengals Land is that the club can get “back to where we were in 2015,” per Green.
Major questions linger along the offensive line, but there’s no doubt about the speed this team added in the offseason. Any improvements to Dalton’s arm would only help.