Andy Dalton ran the show in 2011, but throughout the short periods of time when he was out and Bruce Gradkowski was in at quarterback, the team didn't really miss a beat. I specifically remember the team's season opener when Dalton came out of the game to deal with a minor elbow injury. Gradkowski came in the game and led the Bengals to a victory over the Browns, mostly by catching the defense with their pants down and throwing A.J. Green his first touchdown pass of the season.
While Dalton is the main man in Cincinnati, the Bengals need a backup quarterback, just like every team does, just in case the worst comes to pass. According to ESPN, the Bengals earn a grade of 63 for their backup quarterback situation.
The Bengals are very comfortable with Bruce Gradkowski as their backup. Well, at least offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is. Gradkowski played under Gruden for two years when both were in Tampa Bay, so there is a strong familiarity with his offensive system. -- Jamison Hensley
I'm sure I'm not the only Bengals fan that hopes I never see Gradkowski on the field unless he's out there because the Bengals are winning by a score of 45-3 or because it's preseason, but the team is lucky to have him. He's familiar with Jay Gruden's West Coast system and he has the right skill set to take advantage of the talented receivers that will surround him.