As the 2013 NFL season ends with questions regarding the quarterback position for the Cincinnati Bengals, Andy Dalton enters his third offseason in the NFL still without a playoff win.
Having played well enough to get his team to the postseason hasn’t been enough, as many believe Dalton is now holding this team back from achieving it’s ultimate goal and reaching the Super Bowl, which they had to watch from their couches on Sunday.
But one former Super Bowl-winning QB believes Dalton is the man to lead this franchise, and that’s current NFL Analyst Kurt Warner.
He believes Dalton has done more than enough to earn the right to be the franchise QB going forward:
“Sometimes we forget that these guys are 23, 24 years old and we ask them to do so much. I understand it’s about winning championships. It takes some time,” said Warner. “What I’ve seen is he continues to get better. And if a guy continues to get better, I think you have to give him the leeway until he maxes out his talent. We’ve got to see what we have here.
“How do you not make him the guy? He sets franchise records, he did so many great things this year. He leads you to the division title. … The biggest thing for Andy is just like everyone is saying.
When you get to playoff time, you know the teams that go on are the teams where the quarterback steps up and separates himself. He’s still a young kid that’s done some amazing things and the next step is to transfer what he does in the regular season to the postseason.”
Warner makes a lot of good points, and no matter how you look at it, one common opinion among respected NFL minds is that Dalton does in fact deserve one more season as the full-time starter.
Whether he’s done enough to earn a long-term contract and become the face of this franchise is another question.