Usually when we do a round table, it's Josh and myself debating different topics about the Bengals (and sometimes we talk about super heros). This time it was a little different. Jaxon, from the Carolina Panthers SB Nation site, Cat Scratch Reader, and I sat down for a round table to discuss the Offensive Rookie of the Year, which would either go to Cam Newton of the Panthers or our own Andy Dalton. And, of course, we got into some other things as well.
Jason: Now that the 2011 season has come to an end, the name at the top of most analysts' lists to be named the Offensive Rookie of the Year is Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. However, another rookie who deserves to be in the conversation is Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. Why do you believe Newton deserves the award over Dalton even though Dalton led the Bengals to the playoffs?
Jaxon: While I agree Dalton had a good year, maybe even a great year for a rookie QB, he was unfortunate to be in the same draft class as Cam Newton. Newton set how many records, both rookie and NFL? Five or six, I'm not going to list them unless I need too.
Jason: No, you don't need to. I completely agree that Newton has had an amazing season. He has given the Panthers a huge boost and has completely revitalized Steve Smith's career. However, don't you think that a quarterback's ability to win games should be factored in to this award? I personally don't think Dalton has a shot at the ROY award, but I think something should be said for nine wins on the season and a playoff berth.
Jaxon: I have no problem with wins being factored into it, it should be a consideration since winning is what it really is all about. Yet I might point out the Bengals were 0-8 against playoff teams. The best win was against the Titans who I will say happened to be our worst loss of the season. So I'm not sure either of those facts mean anything.
Jaxon: How about the fact Newton took the 32nd ranked offense to 5th in a single season with no other significant additions outside of two tight ends?
Jason: All of that is very true. However, when there is talk about the league MVP, I mostly hear people calling out Aaron Rodgers' name. He had a good season, there's no question about that. He led his team to a 15-1 regular season record. However, there were three other quarterbacks who arguably had better seasons: Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford. All three had 5,000-yard seasons but it's Rodgers that is getting a lot of the attention. If wins are a factor for his award, if he wins, they should be factored into all awards and they could at least level the playing field between Newton and Dalton.
Jaxon: Very good idea. We talked a lot about this topic throughout the season and this past Tuesday night on my radio show. Dalton did have a bit of an early lead when you guys were sitting at 6-2. You make a good point on the league MVP vote. With both the Packers and Saints losing it will be interesting to see which way it falls. So will a Brees win equal Newton should win and Rodgers likewise to Dalton? We were 2-6 when you were 6-2.
Jason: Not necessarily, I just think it's something that needs to be thought about. If wins factor in for one award they should for the other as well. Kind of switching gears, though. Since both teams had a rookie quarterback in 2011, which team do you think will be more successful in 2012?
Jaxon: Well I always first look at schedules. Ours was pretty hard in 2011 but looks easier in 2012. The Bengals had a pretty easy schedule in 2011...I'm betting its tougher in 2012.
Jason: Much tougher
Jaxon: So we might meet in the middle? And honestly I don't think Dalton was the best rookie on your team...I'm a big fan of AJ now that he left UGA (I'm a GT grad). He torched us for three years.
Jason: That's a very good point. As a Bengals fan, it's hard not to wonder whether Dalton would have had the season he had without A.J. Green. Green was incredible from start to finish and has the potential to be a star in the NFL.
Jaxon: So clear so something up for me, was A.J. as mad as he looked on stage about going to the Bengals?
Jason: Haha. If he was, he never said so. But that's the kind of guy he is. He's quiet and he lets his play do the talking. He's an exact opposite of Chad Ochocinco.
Jaxon: Yeah...I had some UGA people say that was just his personality as far as being laid back and not realizing the expressions he had on his face; that he has looked that way before. He was probably just nervous....Okay I got another good one for you.
Jaxon: At No. 9 the Panthers are on the clock...Trent Richardson is still on the board [or insert other name] the Bengals phone rings...your No. 17 and No. 21 straight up. You doing it?
Jason: Nope. No way. The Bengals still have a lot of holes to fill, especially in the secondary and on the offensive line. If they moved up to grab Trent Richardson and lost one of their first-round picks in the process, it would be a huge mistake. There wouldn't be much of a point of having Richardson if the offensive line couldn't block for him and the secondary couldn't stop any team from passing on them.
Jaxon: So your playing hardball? What else you want? Name your sweetener.
Jason: Oh man, it would have to be huge. Maybe, and it's a huge maybe, I would do it for your No. 9 and the better of your two running backs. And I still probably wouldn't pull the trigger on that one.
Jaxon: It's good we're not GMs!
Jason: Very true.
Jaxon: So who's the favorite at No. 17 on Cincy Jungle?
Jason: Well, the way the mock drafts are going right now, we're still picking up Richardson at No. 17, but I don't see that happening. They need a guard, cornerback and safety first, in my opinion. How about the Panthers. What are you thinking at No. 9?
Jaxon: Most are still talking Kirkpatrick in spite of his misdemeanor, but I think Brockers might work his way into the equation. The pass rusher seems the obvious move but none seem worthy. Most on CSR think Coples is over-rated. Being from UNC we've seen plenty of this kid and we aren't impressed. Need a corner more than anything or a WLB, but again, none seem worthy. A trade back is very possible. We have a solid section wanting Alshon Jeffery too.
Jason: No offense, but I hope that if they trade back, it isn't with the Bengals.
Jaxon: I don't think they will trade back that far. So have you guys given Dalton a nickname yet?
Jason: The Red Rocket sounded terrible so I think most people are calling him Red Rifle now. How about with Newton?
Jaxon: Newton came with a whole marketing campaign built in... I like Supercam...Can you believe how quickly that superman move became popular...the blog blew up when D-Wade did it to Cam right there in Charlotte after beating the Bobcats at the buzzer...dude is personable for sure thought haters are gonna hate.
Jason: There's no question. He was made for football and marketing.