NFL News: Andy Dalton Impressing With Saints So Far

Andy Dalton
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Tristin McKinstry

The New Orleans Saints hoped to have perspective starting quarterback Jameis Winston on the field for their first preseason game. Winston missed time with injury last season, and hoped to give him live reps to help him better acclimate to the speed of the NFL again.

However, Winston picked up an injury before the game. He sprained his ankle and was ruled out. This caused the team to start veteran signal-caller, Andy Dalton in his stead.

The former second-round pick delivered in his limited preseason action. He impressed despite the team's loss to the Houston Texans. And the impression he is leaving is being felt in camp as well.

The Game

Andy Dalton
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Dalton saw limited action in the game, but he was prolific. He went five-for-five, throwing for 51 yards. One of those throws was a nine-yard touchdown to running back Dwayne Washington.

"I was pleased with the way the first units went in there and played," Saints head coach Dennis Allen said. "We'll get back and take a look at the tape and have a better evaluation, but there were some good things I saw tonight."

Getting Comfortable

Andy Dalton
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Days before the game, Dalton was taking starting reps in training camp. He was locked in, especially during seven-on-seven drills where he formed a dynamic connection with star receiver Michael Thomas.

"I feel really good about where I'm at," the 12-year veteran told reporters. "I feel really confident with everything that we're doing, and I feel like I'm in a really good place."

Providing Stability

Andy Dalton
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Dalton has so far delivered on the one thing the Saints wanted when they signed the former second-round pick: stability. Stability under center is one thing the team will need. They went through three quarterbacks last season after Winston went down, which they won't want to repeat this year.

"We wanted to bring a guy in who we felt was an accomplished veteran player, that's been a starter in our league but also has been the backup in this league and had to come in in a backup's role and have success," Allen said. "He was a guy we identified and luckily we were able to get him here."

No Change In Approach

Andy Dalton
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Despite his great start against Houston, Dalton knows his place on the depth chart. Once Winston is cleared, he is the backup. However, he isn't allowing that to change anything about his preparation.

"It doesn't necessarily change my approach," Dalton said. "At the end of the day, it goes down to what Jameis feels comfortable with… from preparation to my mentality, my mindset, it doesn't change."

"He comes out here and competes every day; he had a really nice day today," Allen said of Dalton's presence. "I think he's been a great addition.