Tag:Andy Dalton
Posted on: August 13, 2011 10:59 am
Edited on: August 13, 2011 1:19 pm
 

Dalton's first start 'wasn't a total debacle'

Posted by Will Brinson

Andy Dalton took his first in-game snaps as an NFL quarterback on Friday night, and things did not go as well as Ryan and I predicted they might in our recent AFC North preview.

In fact, they went quite poorly -- Dalton (under)threw a terrible interception on his first pass of the night, managed to have Ndamukong Suh -- literally -- pop his helmet off, and generally looked lost despite finishing with an 11-for-15 line that produced 69 yards.

But, hey, Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said it wasn't a "total debacle" for the rook!

"The game wasn’t a total debacle on his part," Gruden said, per Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "He can get better as can everyone else. The good thing is there isn’t anyone that can say 'Hey, I'm awesome.' Everybody can say they have a lot of improvement to do."

Gruden also pointed out that Cincy's offense "has a long way to go" and pointed to the early interception as the team trying "to take a shot to A.J. [Green]" only to have Suh storm up the middle and pressure Dalton.

Said pressure might have been mitigated by waiting a little while for said shot, but, hey, whatever. He's the boss. (Well, not the boss. The boss is the guy who refuses to trade Carson Palmer and try to help Dalton down the line. But you get the point.)

And it's the first preseason game for the Bengals in a shortened year, and the first start in Dalton's career. So the "everyone has lots of improvement" argument does hold some water.

However, when you start throwing around the phrase "wasn't a total debacle" it makes you kind of sound like General Custer's publicist or something.

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Posted on: August 10, 2011 9:22 am
Edited on: August 11, 2011 9:18 am
 

Podcast: Previewing the AFC North

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

We're rolling out the NFL previews and first up on the podcast: the AFC North.

Unlike other divisions, where any team could win, the AFC North will come down to the Steelers and Ravens, although there will be a race to the basement between the Browns and Bengals. That said, both Cleveland and Cincy have relatively easy schedules and there's a chance (remote but not impossible) that one or both of these outfits could win more than six games.

For that to happen, young quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Andy Dalton will have to play out of their minds and get a lot of help from their teammates. McCoy performed better than anybody expected last season, and with expectations predictably low for Dalton, there really is no place for him to go but up (assuming, of course, he doesn't get maimed by the Ravens' or Steelers' defenses at some point during the season).

Baltimore fans may not be sold on Joe Flacco, but the front office's decision to cut ties with two of his favorite receivers -- Derrick Mason and Todd Heap -- won't magically make him a better player. As it stands, the Ravens have Anquan Boldin and, well, that's it. Rookie Torrey Smith could be forced into duty, which while great for getting him some early experience, won't do much for the passing game. The solution: more Ray Rice.

Pittsburgh returns basically the same team that lost to Green Bay in the Super Bowl. If you're a Steelers homer and looking for a silver lining from that loss: there won't be any Super Bowl hangover. So there's that.

Alright, talking starts below. (Just hit the play button and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.)




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Posted on: August 8, 2011 1:23 pm
 

Dalton tops Cincy depth chart, his 'job to lose'

Posted by Will Brinson

Carson Palmer's situation -- he and the Bengals are playing a game of chicken with his retirement that would impress the Bluth brothers -- has led the Bengals to likely start rookie Andy Dalton under center to begin the season.

Indeed, Cincy's first depth chart was released Monday and, as noted by our Bengals Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner, Jr., Dalton leads the way in terms of quarterbacks listed.

No, it's not that shocking to see Dalton up top, especially after his offensive coordinator recently told reporters that he was "assuming" that Dalton would be the Bengals starter from the get-go.

And considering that his competition is Jordan Palmer, Dan LeFevour and Bruce Gradkowski, but it's still impressive to see the faith Cincy has in him.

In fact, Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com believes that the starting QB gig is "Dalton's to lose" and he is "playing quarterback with the poise of a No. 1 overall pick."

We've already chronicled just how impressed the coaching staff is with rookie wideout A.J. Green. And while some of the praise for these two youngsters seems a bit over-the-top for even the staunchest optimist, if the description of their play is accurate there's reason to be hopeful for Cincy football fans.

Which is not what you can usually expect this time of year, especially with the personnel departure that the Bengals dealt with this offseason.

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Posted on: August 1, 2011 6:09 pm
 

Lewis: A.J. Green 'an upgrade' over Ochocinco, TO

Posted by Will Brinson

A.J. Green is, without question, a very talented football player. But is he going to make an immediate impact? And is he an upgrade over Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens already?

According to Marvin Lewis, yes, yes he is.

"He showed his physical prowess out there today," Lewis said, per Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. "He's an upgrade … we're improved athletically."

That's a pretty bold statement because, for all of their shenanigans, Ocho and Owens are pretty talented receivers.

And it probably needs to be taken with a grain of salt since it's coming from one of the guys who helped make the decision not to retain the pair.

But it also warrants mentioning that Hobson, who covers the Bengals for thet team, was pretty impressed as well.

"[Lewis] is like everyone else down here at camp raving about No. 1 pick A.J. Green," Hobson writes. "He catches everything, no one's covered him, and when he is, he jumps up and takes it away."

And, just to had fuel to the fire is safety Chris Crocker, who was the victim on one of Green's catches, when, according to Hobson, Green "launched himself over [Crocker] to make one of those "wow" catches where you can hear him snap the ball like some amphibian at the top of his jump."

"He's in the upper echelon right now, I'd say," said Crocker.

So, yeah, lots of bold praise for the rookie early in camp. There's a good chance he lives up to said praise. And, without question, he has the talent to become a great wide receiver. The only issue is that -- for now -- he's going to be catching balls from either Andy Dalton or Bruce Gradkowski.

Even Ocho and Owens didn't have to overcome that last year.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 5:27 pm
 

Bengals to replace Palmer with Gradkowski

GradkowskiPosted by Josh Katzowitz

The past few months, we’ve paid quite a bit of attention to QB Carson Palmer and whether Bengals owner Mike Brown would trade him and get something of value for his estranged QB or if he’d let him retire.

Now that Brown has said he’d rather let Palmer rot in California than trade him (he said it a little nicer than that), the Bengals had to turn their attention to finding another veteran QB who can compete with rookie Andy Dalton for the starting spot.

As Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner writes, Cincinnati has agreed to terms on a two-year deal with former Raiders QB Bruce Gradkowski.

The move makes sense on a couple different levels.

1) When Gradkowski played in Tampa Bay, he worked with Jay Gruden, who’s now in charge of the Bengals offense. Their familiarity with each other certainly will help Gradkowski, particularly since Dalton hasn’t gotten any practice time in Gruden’s offense.

2) Gradkowski is a legit starting quarterback, compiling a 6-14 record in 20 starts (a third of those wins came against the Bengals!). Yes, that record is not impressive, but he’s the kind of guy that can provide some veteran leadership to help a young quarterback (you saw that a little bit last year in Oakland with Jason Campbell).

Either way, Gradkowski was so excited, he tweeted the following: “Bengal fans let’s get ready to rock and roll! Can’t wait for this great opportunity!”

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 2:39 pm
 

Brown on Carson Palmer: 'He has retired'

Posted by Will Brinson



Two of the biggest offseason storylines this year -- the actual lockout notwithstanding -- were the respective sagas of Carson Palmer and Kevin Kolb, both quarterbacks under team control through 2011.

Kolb appears to be moving on via trade (though as Clark Judge noted, it's not "imminent") and it sure does look like Palmer's gone too -- Bengals owner Mike Brown reiterated on Tuesday that he is absolutely not going to bother trying to get anything of value of Palmer and will instead let him ride off into a youthful millionaire's sunset.

"I honesty like Carson Palmer. He was a splendid player for us," Brown said, via Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "He is a good person. I wish him well and he has retired. That is his choice."
End of the Line for Palmer?

Yes. Yes it technically is Palmer's choice. And there's an argument to be made that Palmer is shirking his commitment. Mike Brown is making that argument.

"I'm not expecting him to be back. Carson signed a contract, he made a commitment," Brown continued. "He gave us his word. We relied on his word and his commitment. We expected him to perform here. If he is going to walk away from his commitment we aren’t going to reward him for doing it."

That is a very firm stance to take in this situation.

Unfortunately, it doesn't really qualify as "impressively strong" or "morally inflexible."

Instead, it's probably closer to "stupidly stubborn." If the Bengals traded Palmer -- and they absolutely could trade Palmer and get good value for him at this stage of things -- would the Bengals be harmed in any particular way?

No, no they would not, because they would acquire something in return for Palmer that would benefit the organization -- and the fans! -- over the long term.

Instead, they're going to let Palmer just walk away because he's sick of playing for the organization that treats its employees -- and its fans! -- in this way despite having just gotten through the longest work stoppage in history?

Yes, that's a much smarter move than trying to build for the future.

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Posted on: July 16, 2011 5:44 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2011 5:53 pm
 

Cincy OC Gruden 'assuming Dalton' is the starter

Posted by Will Brinson

Incumbent Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer is currently playing in celebrity golf tournaments, "laying low" and not talking to the media. In other words, he's not backing down from his threat to retire if he's not traded.

And as such, it looks like the Bengals really are moving on without him. Jay Gruden, the new Bengals offensive coordinator, became the second major staff member to all but proclaim Andy Dalton the starter.

"That's a good question," Gruden said when asked if they'd bring in other quarterbacks to compete, per Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson. "We're not going to force-feed anybody. We're assuming Dalton but if Dalton is not quite ready—he's only (23)—then we'll get somebody else ready."

Gruden pointed out that it's "not an easy position" to have to start a rookie (although, hey -- it's still better than rolling with Carson's brother, right Dhani Jones?), but remained confident in Dalton's ability to step in and succeed.

"Guys have [gone with a rookie] and been successful and guys have failed miserably," Gruden said. "It's not an easy position ... it's a unique position for a unique individual and I know we drafted the guy with the right frame of mind and hopefully his ability will prove his worth."

The new OC pointed out that "the way to get better is playing" instead of "sitting on the sidelines making notes on a clipboard."

This is a touch interesting, of course, because Palmer was the prototype for drafting a quarterback early, plopping him on the bench with a clipboard and letting him learn.

If Dalton can't manage to succeed along the complete opposite path, it'll be a painful and obvious comparison for the Bengals to swallow.

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Posted on: July 1, 2011 12:00 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2011 12:06 pm
 

Dhani Jones: Jordan Palmer 'not the answer' at QB



Posted by Ryan Wilson

It is with some irony that Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones would suggest teammate Jordan Palmer "is not the answer -- absolutely not" at quarterback. After all, it was just last week that Brian Urlacher, another Jones offseason target, pointed out Jones wasn't in the best position to be leveling criticism.

"I think we were drafted in the same class, right? Is he a 2000 guy? I haven't heard anything about him since then,” Urlacher said. “I saw him on a TV show with a bow tie on though. So I know him better for how the way he dresses than what he does on a football field. Guys are going to talk. I've definitely had a lot worse things said publicly from guys, so I can live with it."

 (This also gives us a reason to bust out our Urlacher vs. Jones graphic, which is always good for a couple laughs.)

Jones, appearing on the Rich Eisen Podcast, said he "would question the decision, absolutely," should Palmer win the starting job. Of course, Jones will be a free agent as soon as the lockout ends, so it may not be his problem to worry about (although he says he'd like to re-sign with Cincinnati).

It's been a busy few days for (soon-to-be-former) Bengals players. Chad Ochocinco went NASCAR joyriding, but not before telling a radio station that he might have to "whup [Marvin Lewis'] ass." He also has plans to wrestle alligators.

As for who will be under center when the season begins, second-round pick Andy Dalton has to be the early favorite. Lewis said last month that Dalton could be the Week 1 starter. All we've heard about the Palmers is that Carson sold his house and Jordan referred to him as a "former teammate."

We don't think Jones has anything to worry about. At least in terms of the Bengals' QB depth chart.



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