Marvin Lewis finally gave the starting nod to rookie QB Andy Dalton for Friday’s preseason opener versus the Detroit Lions. It will prove to be a tough test, as the lions finished 6th in the league last year in total sacks, and Dalton has struggled in practice thus far against Mike Zimmer’s blitz schemes. “It’s a good opportunity for me,” said Dalton after the news became public. “I knew once I got drafted here there was going to be an opportunity. I feel I’ve come out and worked hard and tried to get better each day. That’s all I can do right now.” Dalton was named earlier in the day the #1 QB on the Bengals first depth chart. He’s been the most consistent QB in training camp thus far, so this comes as no surprise. His backup will be 6th year journeyman Bruce Gradkowski.
The Andy Dalton era has clearly begun, and the next step will be Friday against his first live NFL opponent. Clearly the Bengals have faith that Dalton can lead this organization, and now we’ll begin to see if he can live up to expectations.