Andy Dalton actually had a semblance of stability in the early portions of his career. From his rookie season up to the start of the 2016 season, he had just one quarterbacks coach, and it was the same quarterbacks coach that the Cincinnati Bengals had employed since the early 2000s, prior to Carson Palmer’s time.
That was Ken Zampese, who helped nurture a young Dalton in to a Pro Bowler, and did a good job of developing him. But Dalton ended up ‘losing’ Zampese to the carousel at offensive coordinator, which ended with Hue Jackson taking over the Browns’ head coaching job and Zampese bring promoted to offensive coordinator.
He lasted 18 games in that role before he was fired two games into the 2017 season. The Browns and Jackson have since hired him to coach whoever they end up presumably taking with their first-overall draft pick in a few months, but we have already told that story.
Since then, Dalton is now on his fourth quarterbacks coach. When Zampese was promoted to offensive coordinator, Bill Lazor was moved to quarterbacks coach. Lazor replaced Zampese as offensive coordinator, sliding Dan Pitcher into an adjacent role.
Now the Bengals have brought in Alex Van Pelt, who has been the quarterbacks coach of none other than Aaron Rodgers for the past four seasons, replacing Ben McAdoo, who left the Packers to take over the offensive coordinator and then head coaching job for the Giants until he was fired during the regular season.
Van Pelt is actually a Pittsburgh native and was a star quarterback for the Pittsburgh Panthers, even overtaking Dan Marino for a couple of the school’s passing records. He was even drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1993 in what was then the eighth round of the draft.
Van Pelt did not make the Steelers’ roster, but he did ultimately end up attaching himself to the Buffalo Bills, where he enjoyed a nine-year career as a reserve. He started three games in 1997 and eight in 2001. He was a career 54.9 passer with 16 touchdowns to 24 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 64.1.
Following his playing career, Van Pelt began his work in NFL Europe before spending four years on the Bills’ staff, including time as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. He then had a two-year stint with the Buccaneers before spending the rest of his career up to this point in Green Bay, initially as the running backs coach before moving over to quarterbacks coach.
It would probably be pretty hard to argue, though, that Van Pelt is very much responsible for developing any quarterbacks. The only established player he has worked with is Rodgers, and he was the league MVP before he was even on the staff. What will he do with Dalton?