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Cincinnati Bengals: Top Five Training Camp Battles

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Jun 11, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) during minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

A.J. McCarron vs. Terrelle Pryor vs. Josh Johnson

The newest buzz around Bengal Nation is the signing of quarterback Terrelle Pryor. First things first, the quarterback position is the most important position on the field, but it’s even more important for Cincinnati.

Half of Bengal Nation dislikes Andy Dalton while the other half is content with him, though nearly all of Bengal Nation blames Andy Dalton for most losses. With a team that is possibly a quarterback away from a Super Bowl, the signing of any quarterback is a big deal in Cincinnati.

Regardless of whom Cincinnati signs, the truth of the matter is Andy Dalton will be the starter this season. The question is who will be the backup quarterback?

Most years, the Bengals only keep two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster and a third on the practice squad. Last year, the Bengals had three quarterbacks on the roster once A.J. McCarron returned from the PUP List.

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After winning three BCS Championships at Alabama, McCarron was drafted by the Bengals in the fifth round last year. He is considered a game manager, but anybody who reads my articles knows that I believe McCarron could be much more.

McCarron is finally healthy and is filled with confidence. He is my pick to be the backup quarterback.  If the Bengals choose to keep three quarterbacks, the battle will continue as Terrelle Pryor and Josh Johnson vie for the third roster spot.

Josh Johnson is a Jay Gruden guy.  He has ties to the Bengals from when he spent time with the team in 2013 before Gruden became the head coach of the Redskins. As I’ve stated before, Johnson is a solid backup, but that’s it. In a scenario where Andy Dalton is injured, having Johnson as a backup isn’t much to be excited about. He hasn’t thrown a pass in two years and holds a career losing record.

Terrelle Pryor brings real excitement to the group. Hue Jackson drafted Pryor during his days in Oakland. Coach Jackson likes to give his former players a second chance evidenced by the Bengals’ signing wide receiver Denarius Moore. Pryor possesses a big arm and an ability to run. He could still become a valuable starter if given the chance.

Next: Defensive Tackle

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