During a conversation with Boomer Esiason at the Super Bowl, Joe Reedy interviewed the former Bengals great about Andy Dalton and what to make of his career up to this point. Dalton has received quite a bit of criticism from both fans and media after the Bengals offense struggled mightily down the stretch of the 2012 season, leading to another first-round playoff exit. Esiason strongly defended Dalton, saying he believes the former second-round pick out of TCU can lead the Bengals to where they want to go:
Time out, they were down on Joe Flacco too and look at Joe five years now is in the Super Bowl. People have to calm down. You have to remember that Andy Dalton plays in a conference with Flacco, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady. I mean come on. Everybody has to calm down. I’m not down on Dalton at all, I’m a buyer.
I’m not going to sit here and say that he is going to be Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson or Robert Griffin III but he can be Flacco, Brady or Manning. I know one thing, his heart is in it. He cares and he’s not out screwing around. As Phil (Simms) said, people who are down on people don’t understand how hard it is and the variables that go into being successful.
When you see the numbers and what he is doing, why wouldn’t you be a buyer? He’s been in the playoffs two years in a row. His path is a little bit like Flacco’s with the exception that Flacco won games his first two years. He just has to get over that hump.