Can Andy Dalton Be The Leader The Bengals Desperately Need?

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Jan 1, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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With many of the Bengals veterans becoming new faces in new places, Andy Dalton has officially become the new sheriff in town.

Andrew Whitworth and Domata Peko were the glue that held the Bengals’ locker room together for the better part of the last decade. Now, both men are in new locker rooms, starting a new chapter in their respective football careers. That leaves quarterback Andy Dalton as the biggest voice in this locker room and the official ‘face of the franchise.’

Most teams–especially competitive franchises–have quarterbacks that every player on the roster looks to when the road gets a little rough. In an NFL season, that road is long and hard. I believe that the most important quality a team’s signal caller can have is leadership. It’s far more important than mobility and, yes, even arm strength.

One of the greatest teams Cincinnati ever put on the field was a Super Bowl team lead by a quarterback by the name of Boomer Esiason. Good ole’ #7 had a lot of great qualities but the greatest he possessed was leadership. Another prime example is Tom Brady. The Patriots’ QB barely got drafted at all. He wasn’t built out of granite, but he sure has a will to win. Players gravitate to Brady and no matter who they put around him, they believe they can win. Why? Because he believes they can win, and because of that faith, they win.

The Confidence Factor

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I personally believe Dalton is underrated and under appreciated. I know I could get hammered for this, but there are time’s I see greatness in The Ginger. Does it show all the time? No, but we’ve all seen traces of it. It’s up to Dalton to take the reins of this team and take them to another level. We all know he can get us to the dance. Dalton just needs to keep us in the dance until the clock strikes midnight.

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I know Dalton isn’t a physical freak with a rocket arm, but he does have intangibles. Now the Bengals just need him to become the man everyone can look to when the lights shine brightly. Can Dalton be that guy? Absolutely. Make the fans believe Andy. Make the team believe. Ken Anderson made #14 mean something in Cincinnati.

The Brown family has entrusted Dalton with that number. It’s time he made it his own. It’s time the league feared the Red Rifle for the weapon he can be.

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