AJ McCarron On Andy Dalton: ‘He’s Our Quarterback’

You may have heard of a report here or there that the Cincinnati Bengals are toying around with the idea of putting quarterback Andy Dalton on the bench in favor of AJ McCarron, who started three games in 2015, throwing six touchdowns and two interception to go along with 854 passing yards.

Earlier this week, McCarron was asked about these reports, but he didn’t think much of them. “I wish people in this city would back him and go with it”, he told reporters. “Listen, I think I’m a great quarterback and I think he’s an unbelievable quarterback. I love him to death. But he’s our quarterback”.

He went on, saying, “stop making it into something else. It’s not into something else. Ride with him. Trust the team. Trust the process. And trust what we are trying to do. And be a fan of who is playing. We are all part of a team. It’s not we are divided”.

On the contrary, it was reported earlier that the ultimate firing of offensive coordinator Ken Zampese was the byproduct of what was described as “a near mutiny”, and that part of the would-be mutiny also consisted of players growing weary of the offensive status quo. Evidently, some players even wanted the team to bring in Colin Kaepernick.

McCarron wasn’t hearing those stories, nor was he giving any credence to the idea that he was interested in taking over Dalton’s job as a sort of rival. “It’s not that way”, he said. “It’s tough for me, it really is. I love him I love our relationship. Been with him for a long time now. It sucks for me to see. For other people if we didn’t have such a close relationship things like that can make the process weird between quarterbacks on other teams if that starts happening”.

He went on to say that the two “have a great relationship”, adding, “I think we’ve both handled it really well. We know what nonsense is. We trust and love each other. He’s our quarterback and I’ll leave it at that. I trust him every time he steps out there and I think we are going to win every time he is under center”.

Over the course of the first two games of the season, Dalton has completed just 36 of 66 pass attempts for at 54.5 completion percentage, throwing for just 394 yards while averaging a mere six yards per pass attempt. He has thrown four interceptions and has yet to throw a touchdown. He has also been sacked eight times and lost a fumble.

Those are some riotously bad numbers, but I’m certainly not in the camp that believes swapping in McCarron or Kaepernick is actually going to improve their current position. The number on issue is that they last stability along the offensive line and among the skill positions. Dalton needs to play better, but he also needs help.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • I was never a Dalton fan my self, but he’s been a solid QB in the NFL. From what I’ve seen from AJ I think he is the same QB as Dalton. I think you’d be getting the same results no matter what QB they go with at the moment. Although it looks like Dalton isn’t trusting his eyes right now. It’s all due to losing so many offensive players over the past couple of years. That O-line, yikes!! But again this is a stubborn organization that refuses to address major issues; on top of that they make VB their capt & continue to roll with Adam Jones. This organization just doesn’t get it.

  • VaDave

    There is still way too many games to play before pulling the plug. I’m not so sure Zampese wasn’t a scapegoat in this saga. I guess it’s easier to replace a coach than an a bunch of players. Sadly, until these “players” show up, it’s going to be a long season in Cincy.

  • VaDave

    I agree. What is crazy about this team, for all the talent they’ve had over the years, they always seem to find a way to shoot themselves in the foot. I’m telling you it’s the Terrible Towel curse from when Housmanzada shined his shoes, a 20 year penance. The Titans are under it as well….

  • Douglas Andrews

    The Bengals have a bad history of letting good talent get away. Corey Dillon was an Icon on those average to bad Bengals teams and they traded him away. Fast Forward to today and they’re still doing the same. Not spending the money for a quality O line is a joke.

  • Michael James

    I think we all know that Dalton will never be a really great QB. He is what he is – mediocre, sometimes above average, horrible under pressure. In the right circumstances, with a great OL and great weapons he can shine (aka 2015), but if he’s only slightly uncomfortable and feels pressure, he will see ghosts and his accuracy will be really bad.
    The front office of Cincy is to blame for the mess they have right now. Everyone could have seen this coming, with them letting their best OL players walk away.

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    They needed that money to sign Burfict to an extension… Gotta have your priorities in line. LMAO

  • The Tony

    The big issue in Cincy is that they haven’t been able to hit on their highly drafted offensive lineman. Instead of drafting for need, they spent their 1st round pick on a luxury pick with an injury history.

  • Cullen James Riley

    I feel bad for Andy Dalton. I don’t think he’s special, but he would be upgrade for about eight other teams at the QB position. It’d be nice to see Cincy scare the QB away AFTER the next draft.

  • mem359

    They’ve been spending a lot of early picks on DBs (which is bad for the Steelers when their draft pick is after the Bengals). Normally good to stockpile talent at that position, but as you say, they had other needs.

  • Very true!!

  • Dan

    From the perspective of an opponent, I’d rather see Dalton start than McCarron. If McCarron got some consistent playing time, I’d fear he’d be quite an upgrade over Andy.