While we anxiously await the start of the 2022 New Orleans Saints season, it feels like a good time to start previewing the new additions to the 2022 squad. What better source of insight for a player than the fans that covered that player’s former team?
We’ll continue this series by looking at the newest addition to the Saints quarterback room, former Cincinnati Bengals starting quarterback Andy Dalton. Lester Wiltfong of Windy City Gridiron was kind enough to answer five quick questions to get a feel for what the recent Bears backup might bring to the Saints.
Before the Chicago Bears drafted Justin Fields, what was the expectation and general fan excitement level for the signing of Andy Dalton?
There was no real excitement, but most were hopeful he’d be able to run the offense more efficiently than what we were used to seeing. Dalton was always going to be just a placeholder until the rookie (whoever that was going to end up being) was ready to play.
I know Dalton only had essentially two games with the Bears last season, but how did he play overall?
Considering Chicago wasn’t a good team, he was fine. He played about like you’d expect a journeyman, veteran QB to play, and at his age he needs things to be good around him to have success. The Matt Nagy scheme he was in last year wasn’t the best, nor was the offensive talent around him very good.
Were you disappointed to see Dalton sign elsewhere this offseason?
Not at all. He was always just a stopgap guy, but he’s a true professional and was a positive influence on Justin Fields.
What is Dalton’s current ceiling in the NFL?
He’s a good backup to have that can start if needed.
If Andy Dalton were to start Week 1 for the Saints and play the entire season (pretend no Jameis Winston, no Taysom Hill, no mid-season acquisition), how would you predict he plays?
He’ll be 35 this fall, so he is who he is right now, and that’s a bottom tier starter that is better off as a QB2.
The Saints have been forced to start a backup quarterback in each of the past few years, going back to Teddy Bridgewater’s stopgap term with the New Orleans Saints in 2018-2019. If Dalton were to be asked to step in at some point in 2022, his ceiling might be higher than Bridgewater’s. Lest we forget that in 2014 Dalton made the Pro Bowl on his way to leading the Bengals to a 10-5-1 record.