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Tag:Andy Dalton
Posted on: August 26, 2011 8:50 am
 

Podcast: Newton vs. Dalton, Fouts on young QBs

Posted by Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Dan Fouts joins the show to talk about today's young quarterbacks -- Cam Newton, Tim Tebow, Terrelle Pryor -- as well as concussions and the new kickoff rule.

Will and Ryan also break down Thursday night's preseason action, discussing whether Newton looked good enough to take the starting gig in Carolina, and if Andy Dalton is improving as fast as it appeared -- or he just looked like it relative to Newton. (CBSSports.com's Clark Judge was at the game and he's not sure Newton's ready for what he's about to face.)

Then there's the ongoning Chris Johnson saga in Tennessee, the quarterback competion between Rex Grossman and John Beck in DC, whether the Ravens' offensive line can keep Joe Flacco upright, if the Steelers did the right thing in signing Lawrence Timmons before Troy Polamalu and much, much more.

Conversatin' starts … now (and while we have you, remember to subscribe to the podcast via iTunes). If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.



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Posted on: August 21, 2011 10:37 pm
Edited on: August 21, 2011 11:19 pm
 

The Bengals may have something in Andy Dalton

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We'll be honest, when the Bengals drafted Andy Dalton in the second round back in April, we had very little faith that he'd have much of an impact on a team that won four times last season and finished last in the AFC North.

Not so much because Dalton isn't capable of becoming a competent NFL quarterback, more due to the fact that the Bengals are a perennially hapless bunch, and their last franchise QB opted for early retirement over playing another snap in Cincinnati.

Our opinion didn't change after Cincinnati's first preseason game in Detroit, a 34-3 thrashing. Dalton's first NFL pass was intercepted, and that turned out to be the highlight of his evening. Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh tried to remove Dalton's head from his body, and the nicest thing Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden could say about the rookie QB's first start was that it "wasn't a total debacle."

Dalton's second preseason game was equally rough, at least in the beginning. He completed two of his first five attempts -- all to Jets defenders. Yes, the conditions were horrible, but that's a weekly occurrence in the AFC North.

But Dalton didn't fold. After starting 0 for 5 with two interceptions, he finished 8 of 14 for 86 yards, most of which came on a second-quarter touchdown drive (the Bengals' first TD of the preseason).

"All I want to say about [our first TD drive] is that it's about time," Dalton said after the game, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Lisa Zimmerman. "We've got to keep getting better, and we all know it."

Cincy's problems aren't magically solved by a performance which, on paper, can kindly be described as pedestrian. But it's a something.

Despite the progress, the Bengals' offense still lacks a downfield passing game, and the rushing attack was nonexistent against the Jets. For Dalton to have a chance at success during the regular season, Cincinnati is going to have to play near-flawless football. Recent history suggests that's a long shot. For now, though, there's reason for optimism.

"[Dalton] continues to work through the rough spots of playing this game as a rookie," head coach Marvin Lewis said. "He experienced some different conditions, playing with a wet ball. It was just another good step as he moves forward."

How far forward depends on a lot of things, most of which are out of Dalton's control.

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 6:49 pm
 

Are the Bengals screwing with Jordan Palmer?

C. Palmer and J. Palmer both might not be playing in Cincinnati this year (US Presswire)Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Carson Palmer is retired for now. The Bengals are looking to start second-round draft pick QB Andy Dalton, and they’ve signed veteran Bruce Gradkowski to help mentor him. But the Bengals, according to WCPO’s Denny Janson are still trying to mess with the Palmer family.

On his Twitter account, Jensen writes, “Carson Palmer tells friend, #Bengals are toying with brother Jordan. Few reps etc. Expects him to be cut but too late to sign elsewhere.”

If that’s true, that wouldn’t be real nice of the organization, especially since Carson Palmer has been such a big part of the team and helped lead the squad to two AFC North titles (suffering a variety of injuries for a team that gave him a ton of money coming out of college).

Actually, that would be a real jerky thing for the club to do, especially if it’s maliciously trying to mess with Jordan’s career. On the flip side, the Bengals did sign Jordan three years ago after he had been released from the Redskins and his career was in jeopardy, even though it’s pretty clear he’ll never be a starting QB in the league (even a free agent named Dhani Jones thinks so!).

The question: would the management take out its frustration with Carson on Jordan? My opinion: I kind of doubt it. If the Bengals release Jordan Palmer -- who had designs on winning the starting job in June -- it would probably be because he simply hasn’t shown the team enough since 2008 to qualify for even a third-string QB position. I'd also like to think the Bengals have a little more class than meanly shoving out Jordan just to get back at Carson.

In other Bengals news, fans didn’t seem all that interested in watching Cincinnati’s training camp this year as it attracted just 1,330 cars to Georgetown, Ky., to watch the Bengals practice. That, writes the Cincinnati Enquirer, is the lowest total since the team began training at Georgetown College, about an hour south of Cincinnati.

Last year, although the team trained in Georgetown for just two weeks, the college parked 7,362 cars.

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 9:02 am
Edited on: August 18, 2011 9:08 am
 

Suh will appeal $20,000 fine for hit on Dalton

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh tweeted Wednesday that he had been fined $20,000 for manhandling Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in the Week 1 preseason game between the two teams.

(One of the setbacks to communicating through social media, texting or email is that it's difficult for the reader to divine the true emotions being conveyed by the sender. Emoticons, ironically, only confused things. That said, Suh's tweet left little room for misinterpretation. The all-caps, rhetorical question marks, 108 exclamations points (!), and the "BIGFAIL" hashtag sorts gave him away.)

It should come as no surprise then that Suh will appeal the fine.

“Am I going to appeal it? Who wouldn’t?” Suh said Wednesday, according to the Detroit Free Press's Dave Birkett. “I mean, that’s my motto. Who wouldn’t? If you would, why wouldn’t I?”


Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) tosses an interception against Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, right, on his first play of the game in the first quarter of a NFL football game on Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman was at Bengals training camp this week and he asked Dalton if Suh was a dirty player.

"I can't answer that. I don't know," said Dalton. "I thought what he did with me was a little over the top. I can tell you some of my teammates weren't happy about it. ...It was good to see those guys get my back. Suh is a big guy."

This makes the third time Suh, the Lions' 2010 first-round pick, has been fined for hits (or, as you'll soon see, pushes) to the quarterback. During the 2010 preseason, Suh appeared intent on removing Jake Delhomme's head from his body during a game against the Browns. That cost him $7,500. During the regular season Suh was docked another $15,000 for shoving Jay Cutler. (Yep, you read that right -- it was a hard shove. We know what you're thinking: the savagery tackle football has become.)

Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said there's "no malicious intent" in Suh's game.

“I think what’s happened to him is I've never seen this player in my life, meaning there’s no one that’s ever played like this at defensive tackle," Cunningham said. "And if you watch the tape and you have any sense for athletes, that’s what you’re going to see. What happens to him, there were two guys blocking him in the game, he beat them both, clean as a whistle, and he felt like he had the tackle. The quarterback had the ball in his hand, and that was it, he took him down. And that’s what he's supposed to do."

To Suh's credit, he understands that his freakish combination of strength, speed and athleticism can sometimes make the mundane spectacular. And occasionally, spectacularly expensive.


“Honestly, I really feel that I put the refs in a tough situation because of my strength," he said. "A lot of us players growing up and coming in, we’re getting faster, stronger, and some guys just have incredible strength on that football field. So I feel like we put them in tough situations … I’m not going to fault them for making a call that they’re erring on the safer side, because safety is important. It’s important for myself, it’s important for a quarterback, it’s important for every last 22 players on the football field."

Despite concerns from some teams (most notably the Steelers), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell retained the ability to punish players for both on and off-field behavior as part of the new collective bargaining agreement. Using history as a guide, Suh can go ahead and make that check out to his favorite NFL charity.

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Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:24 pm
 

Roundtable: Which rookie QB will help the most?

C. Newton could be one of the breakout rookie QBs this year (Getty).

Posted by Eye on Football staff

Well, we're a week into the preseason and that means we know everything about everyone. Or nothing at all. Whatever, we got our first glimpses of the NFL's newest rookie quarterbacks and that leads us to the question: What rookie quarterback will help his team the most?

Will Brinson: Go ahead and cue up about 15 "Panthers homer" comments in the next few paragraphs, but I don't care: Cam Newton. The guy's a freak-a-deak athlete with a firehose attached to his right shoulder and he's going to get a chance to produce. Unfortunately, that firehose thing can also be bad if Newton can't control his accuracy. And it's possible that Jimmy Clausen -- who looked better than terrible after he threw a pick six on his second passing attempt -- could be the safer option for Carolina. But Newton gets the fanbase amped and he's already shown exponential growth since we last saw him throwing passes. Putting him in the proverbial fire's the way to go and he'll be a difference maker for Carolina in both the stands and the field.

Josh Katzowitz: Will, I couldn't agree with you more. I don't know if Newton will help his team that much more on the field than Clausen would have -- I'm willing to bet heavily on the odds that there are going to be games when Newton is ABSOLUTELY terrible and people are going to be saying, "Yeah, buddy, the NFL is a little different than the limited offense you ran at Auburn, eh?" (these people, of course, will be Canadians who care way too much about SEC football) -- but as far as starpower is concerned, Newton is the one. I don't care if he privately looks at himself as an entertainer and an icon. He's got that huge smile and he's got that charisma, and eventually, the stink of whatever NCAA rules his dad might have violated will wash away.

That said, I don't think he's going to contend for any rookie of the year honors, because as the season goes along, defenses are going to begin to figure out Newton. Actually, I think the real answer to your question about which rookie will help his team the most will end up being Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco, assuming he stays healthy behind that poor offensive line. Alex Smith will continue to be Alex Smith, and midway through the season, Jim Harbaugh will call upon Kaepernick to replace Smith and win a few games for the 49ers. And I think he'll do it, especially in the NFC West, hastening Smith's departure (which, when you think about it, might be the single biggest reason how Kaepernick impacts the team). Newton will help his franchise the most, but Kaepernick will help his team the most.

Ryan Wilson
: We talked about it (at length, I might add) and Newton was impressive. I know, it's just one preseason game, but the guy's come a long way since February, the Auburn scandal, and the silly comments about being an entertainer and an icon.

And let's be honest, he's energized fans that had every reason to lose all hope and commit their energies to supporting NASCAR full time. That can't be understated. Winning is obviously the goal, but Panthers fans will find reasons for optimism if the Panthers can win five or six games. So in terms of therapeutic value for a downtrodden fan base, Newton is this season's most valuable QB.

A. Dalton could be the starting QB in Cincinnati (Getty). But if we're talking about a QB who has a chance to play and help his team win enough games to battle for a playoff spot, I'm going with Christian Ponder. Partly because Myron Rolle thinks he's a genius, but also because Donovan McNabb has become a punchline in recent years. How long until he's yanked in favor of Ponder? Four weeks? Remember: this is the guy who not only lost his job to Rex Grossman last season, he was eventually demoted to third string behind John Beck, he of four career starts, all losses, all coming in 2007.

Brinson: Well, we're one full turn around the table and the only person we haven't talked about is the only guy who's virtually guaranteed to start Week 1: Andy Dalton.

So, um, yeaaaaaaah.

What does that say about the Bengals? (And why do I have the feeling Josh will try to defend them?) I guess it says either that "We don't respect Andy Dalton," "We forgot about Andy Dalton," or "Even if Andy Dalton was Peyton Manning, he wouldn't be saving the Bengals from certain doom in 2011."

Perhaps it's all three?

Wilson: I didn't mention Andy Dalton for the same reason I don't think about paying my mortgage every day: if I ignore it, it don't exist. It's a coping mechanism. In Dalton's case, it means I'm not constantly reminded of what the 2011 season inevitably holds for him: pain, misery, disappointment -- all words that have become synonymous with the Bengals in recent years.

(Just look what the madness did to even-keeled Carson Palmer -- it drove him right into retirement in what should be the prime of his career. Think about that for a minute. Things were so god-awful in Cincinnati that Palmer would rather sit around the house doing crosswords than get caught up in tiger-striped maelstrom for another season.)

While we shouldn't put too much stock in first-ever preseason performances, Dalton's got his introduction to big-boy football from, fittingly, Ndamukong Suh. And I feel that was just a preview of things to come in 2011 (for both Dalton and Suh). So, yeah, it's pretty easy to be down on Dalton, more because he's a victim of circumstance. Which is why I don't want to think about it.

Brinson: Thanks for the reminder on the mortgage payment, jerk. Speaking of which, if there's one thing that the Panthers, 49ers, Titans, Vikings, Jaguars and Bengals have in common it's that they mortgaged their future on the talents of the 2011 NFL Draft class. With that in mind, let's wrap up this puppy up by making a list -- how do you gents rank the rookies in terms of impact on the 2011 season? Here's mine. Don't copy it.

1. Cam Newton
2. Blaine Gabbert
3. Andy Dalton
4. Christian Ponder
5. Jake Locker
6. Colin Kaepernick
7. Ryan Mallet
8. Terrelle Pryor

PonderWilson: No matter the list -- or the topic -- one thing is assured: Brinson will put Cam Newton at the top of it. Panthers fan solidarity and whatnot.

Back on Earth...

1. Christian Ponder (He'll be starting before the end of Sept.)
2. Colin Kaepernick (See above)
3. Blaine Gabbert (He'll be starting before Halloween)
4. Cam Newton (The next Jimmy Clausen? JOKE. Clearly, he's the next Chris Weinke.)
5. Andy Dalton (Must've been a serial killer in a previous life to get stuck with this fate.)
6. Jake Locker (Should only play if Hasselbeck gets injured.)
7. Ryan Mallett (Bill Belichick is a genius. That is all.)
8. Terrelle Pryor (But he's a first-round pick!)

Katzowitz: Just in case, Will needs a reminder: Here's my takedown of Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis in that ridiculous news conference they called to announce that Lewis would return for another season, and here's what I wrote about the Bengals' lack of a practice bubble. I lived in Cincinnati for six years, but believe me when I say that I think the Bengals are an incompetent mess (though, personally, I think Mike Brown is a nice man).

My list (the correct one):

1. Colin Kaepernick (If Mike Singletary thought about replacing Alex Smith with David Carr (!) last season, Jim Harbaugh shouldn't have a problem replacing Smith with Kaepernick)
2. Christian Ponder (Because he's better than Rex Grossman, and since Grossman is better than Donovan McNabb ...)
3. Cam Newton (How disturbing would it be if Clausen actually won the starting job?)
4. Andy Dalton (He still has Cedric Benson to lean on)
5. Blaine Gabbert (I'm not sure he can beat out David Garrard, and I'm not sure Garrard will be bad enough this year to warrant starting Gabbert)
6. Jake Locker (Locker will get tons of help from Hasselbeck)
7. Ryan Mallett (He won't even beat out Brian Hoyer to be Brady's backup)
8. Terrelle Pryor (I don't know, maybe, he could be an effective NFL TE?)

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Posted on: August 17, 2011 1:21 pm
 

Suh apparently fined $20,000 for Dalton hit

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For his helmet-popping hit on Bengals QB Andy Dalton in the Lions first preseason game, Lions DT Ndamukong Suh has been fined $20,000. We think.

There’s been no official confirmation by the NFL, but judging by Suh’s Twitter update, it seems to be so.

Quoth the Suh: $20,000REALLY???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #NFL #BIGFAIL"

Though the hit didn’t appear dirty, the league will almost always come down on the side of protecting the quarterbacks, and since Suh has built a nice little history of playing not-nice with the league’s QBs, the fine isn’t a surprise. Maybe he hasn’t crossed a line yet, but he’s getting ever so much closer.

And his wallet is getting lighter.

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Posted on: August 15, 2011 9:17 am
 

Ndamukong Suh: 'I haven't crossed any line'

Posted by Will Brinson

There are a number of folks that believe Lions defensive lineman and general manchild Ndamukong Suh is a "dirty" player. He got this reputation partially from two preseason games -- in 2010 he treated Jake Delhomme like a rag doll against Cleveland (he was eventually fined $7,500 after the NFL reviewed the hit) and then this past weekend he squeezed Andy Dalton so hard the rookie's helmet popped off.

Oh right, and for the hit on Jay Cutler that ended up costing him $15,000 last year. But Suh said Sunday that he doesn't believe he's "dirty."

"There's always a fine line of dirtiness and a fine line of aggressiveness," Suh said Sunday, per Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free-Press. "I know to this point that in my own heart that I haven't crossed that line by any means."

I've spoken to Suh a couple times and on occasion (one happened to be right after the Cutler hit), I've asked him about whether he plays dirty or not. And he always says the same thing -- he's not dirty. He's aggressive.

And I think there's an argument to be made for both sides. Suh's actions against Delhomme were clearly dirty, especially considering he extended the play beyond the actual contact with the quarterback (read: the sack). But I didn't feel like his "hit" on Dalton necessarily was "dirty" insomuch as it was "aggressive."

But Suh is -- quite obviously -- developing a reputation for being a dirty player. Whether or not he actually is won't matter when there's a call that's close.

Because in those situations the referees will continue to flag him and the league will continue to fine him. Although those hits may not matter much if Suh keeps playing as well as he does the rest of the time.

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Posted on: August 13, 2011 11:10 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 2:17 am
 

How 2011's rookies fared during the first week

Posted by Will Brinson



Rookies are at a disadvantage during the 2011 season, because of the shortened amount of time they were given to prep for the season due to the lockout. As such, they're likely to struggle substantially early.

But not every rookie will struggle.

For instance, in the Falcons preseason opener on Friday, Julio Jones flashed enough explosiveness to warrant Mike Smith describing him as "outstanding" after Atlanta loss against the Dolphins.

Had the first teams stayed in, we likely would have gotten more glimpses of the reason Thomas Dimitroff traded up 21 spots to nab the Alabama product -- he turned a pair of short grabs into 43 yards quickly and a reverse for 12 yards looked like it could have easily gone for more.

Atlanta believes the reason the missed a shot at the Super Bowl in 2010 was their lack of big playmaking. And correctly so. Jones appears -- in an admittedly small sample size -- to be very nice remedy for that problem.

Things didn't go quite as swimmingly for Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton, who managed to post somewhat decent stats -- 11/15, 69 yards and an interception. But don't listen to me on that.

Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's description (he said Dalton's start "wasn't a total debacle") probably summed it up best.

Dalton struggled mightily, and not just because Gruden put him in tough spots by trying to take shots downfield with Ndamukong Suh breathing down his neck (he did). Of course, it didn't help that Suh popped his helmet off and chunked him to the ground late in the first quarter either. That's enough to make a man quit his job for good, especially on the first day.
NFL Preseason Week 1

Dalton doesn't have the arm strength or athleticism to just step in and overcome inexperience. Even some of his completions -- including a quick out to Jerome Simpson from the shotgun set -- were off and didn't do his receivers any favors.

Speaking of his receivers, A.J. Green looks like the real deal, insomuch as one could determine that from the shorter passes he caught from Dalton. Not to sound weird, but I'd be cool with just watching him run and jump all day. (That's weird, isn't it? Crap.)

Point is, Green's athletic as hell and all the hype about him before the season might not be that overblown.

Also not overblown? Cam Newton's athleticism. Whooooo-boy. But Newton's a good-news/bad-news situation. See, his athleticism is unquestioned. He's a freak. A totally different package of size, strength and speed than we've ever seen in the NFL. But as expected he isn't precisely polished. That's the bad news.

The good news is that Newton has clearly progressed from where he was when we last saw him (read: the combine). If Newton can make strides like that without serious hand-on guidance from the coaching staff, I'm willing to bet he can eventually become a great quarterback. He's got a cannon for an arm, but his touch was clearly off on some throws.

That may not matter for Carolina, though, as even though Jimmy Clausen played pretty darn well after throwing a pick six on his second throw, there could be riots in Charlotte if Newton doesn't start right away simply because he oozes potential.

Blaine Gabbert also oozed enough of something for the Jaguars to trade up for him. Could it have been composure, perhaps?

"I thought [Gabbert] was composed and did a good job making decisions," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said following Saturday's blowout loss to New England. "He looked like he belonged. It was a good beginning."

Gabbert finished 9/16 for 85 yards with no touchdowns (but no picks) and got hosed by a number of drops from his wide receivers. That being said, he looked like most of the other rookies we saw, in that he struggled at times to step up and complete passes in the pocket.

Gabbert definitely showed some flashes that should give the Jaguars optimism for his future, but if you go back and watch the game (or, if you prefer, just scan the play-by-play), you won't many combinations of the words "complete" and "deep." The Jaguars kept things short, as one might expect, particularly given the dearth of weapons available to the rookie on Thursday.

Speaking of that Patriots-Jaguars game, um, Ryan Mallett's really good. OK, "really good" might be a stretch but how about good? Or good? One of those should work well enough to emphasize how he might be the most pro-ready quarterback in this rookie class.

Mallett's got poise in the pocket, doesn't seem scared of pressure, knows when to run, has a big arm and confident in moving through his progression. Plus -- and this might have to do with his familiarity in a pro-style system -- you do just don't see him float throws like other rookie quarterbacks.

I mean, yeah, it doesn't hurt that he's being mentored by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and, yeah, we're not like five years away from watching the hoodie stroll the sidelines with a crooked cane while Mallett and a gorgeous mane of hair takes down a Super Bowl win, but -- surprise, surprise -- New England might have found a steal in the draft with their third-round nab of Mallett.

It's definitely too early to call Titans rookie Jake Locker a "steal" (and, I'd argue, he was taken too meet such qualifications, barring an absolute blowup), but he looked particularly comfortable in going 7/10 for 89 yards and a teeter while running the Titans offense on Saturday night.

The play that clearly stood out? Locker fumbling the snap on the first play after Tennessee's defense forced a turnover, recovering his own fumble, rolling out right, setting his feet and chucking a 45-yard bomb Yamon Figurs for his first professional touchdown.

For whatever reason, Locker seemed to fit the bill for "prepared" in a completely different way than Mallett. Thrust into a difficult situation with no real weapons -- paging Chris Johnson! -- and pressure as the not-too-far-off future of the franchise, Locker seemed to manage the game in a hyperactive, scrappy kind of way.

That's not to say that he's the NFL's David Eckstein or anything, obviously. And maybe it's just that the Titans know what to do with him. (Credit to Doug Farrar over at Shutdown Corner if this happens -- he's been driving the Locker bandwagon, based on his situation, for a while now.) Obviously they didn't plan to have him fumble, recover and scramble, but you could see that when Locker rolled out he could sling darts.

Christian Ponder's first career completion in the NFL was also a rollout. The rookie out of Florida State hit fellow rook Kyle Rudolph for a 10-yard gain, but that might have been the highlight for Ponder. He never really had the poise that we expected from the most "ready" (theoretically) quarterback in the first round, and at times he looked a bit lost and/or overwhelmed especially at first and, surprisingly, seemed to have his most success when on the move, outside of the pocket.

One of those on-the-move plays should have resulted in a first down on a 3rd-and-16, but was called back for a personal foul penalty. The interesting thing is that Ponder managed to avoid a sack, buy time and made a crucial throw on the move; yes, it was pretty surprising given what we expected from him.

It was also surprising considering Ponder faced off against the third-string defense.

On the bright side: it's just one game. And it's early. That's the beauty of preseason.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com