LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 20: Andy Dalton attends the NFL PLAYERS Premiere League Flag Football Game at UCLA on May 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
Much has been made about second-year wide receiver A.J. Green developing into a young leader. But second year quarterback Andy Dalton is also starting to embrace a leadership role. Dalton will let his receiver know about incorrect routes or general mistakes, as opposed to last season when Dalton defaulted to the coaching staff to handle mistakes. As a rookie, Dalton was more focused on learning the playbook:
"I was trying to get the next play. Now, I feel like I can say something. Getting the next play is second nature now."
The team seems to be responding to Dalton's increased leadership role. According to.com, ten players were celebrity waiters at Dalton's kickoff event for his charity foundation on Sunday. Dalton understands that improving his leadership can take the Bengals farther than the first round of the playoffs:
" I probably should've done a little bit better job last year but there's a lot of other things that were on my mind."
Growing more comfortable with the offense as well as his teammates has allowed Dalton to feel more like a leader:
"I feel like everybody on this team understands and knows what they're going to get out of me. They know I'm going to put in the work and the time. I am able to step out a little more. I was able to prove myself a little bit last year and everyone knows we're going to be on the same page and I can voice that a little more."