When the Cincinnati Bengals selected TCU quarterback Andy Dalton in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, we got a glimpse of the future of the position for the first time. We still aren't sure, however, whether or not the quarterback of the future is going to be the 2011 starter or not.
Andy Dalton doesn't know for sure either, but he is going to be preparing for the season like he will be.
"Everyone knows Carson is saying he's not coming back," Dalton said. "I think they're preparing to move on so obviously the position is open… I'm going to go prepare myself like I'm going to be the starter."
Dalton is already flexing the leadership muscles that made him attractive to so many scouts and coaches. He has made contact with both A.J. Green and second-year wide receiver Jordan Shipley and together, they want to turn the Bengals franchise around.
"I'm going to be seeing what they're doing and seeing what's going on and try to figure out what's best to do," Dalton said.
"We're ready to get going," Dalton said. "What we're going to be doing offensively we're really going to turn things around a little bit."
"We got a new offensive coordinator and a couple new coaches and we're kind of getting these players in that are going to help this team out," Dalton said. "We're excited."
The Bengals may sign a veteran quarterback to start in Dalton's place for the 2011 season to create a situation similar to Carson Palmer's rookie season when Jon Kitna took all the snaps. We won't know until the current lockout comes to an end.
Even though the Bengals feel confident that Dalton could be their first rookie quarterback to start his opening game since Greg Cook in 1969, no one can know for sure what's going to happen. Dalton knows, though, that he's going to at least get a shot to get the starting job, and even if he doesn't get it, he's going to prepare diligently until he is the starter.
"It's open competition," Dalton said. "If I get the opportunity to start week one then I get that opportunity. But if not I'm going to keep preparing and put myself in a position to be ready if the time comes."