What I may think doesn’t mean much, but then again, neither does what anybody else think. All that matters is who wins on Sunday. As far as AD, I like him as our QB. He has a lot of positives that you won’t find in other QBs. He plays at a high enough level to set club records and has third year stats and accomplishments that are on par with the best QBs in the league. As far as worst still alive in playoffs, that is a positive to me. We are still alive. Plus how many other QBs are younger or have less experience than AD, so what do you expect? Plus, he has maturity way beyond a 3 year player. He can throw an interception and come back in and play like he just threw a TD. That is what you want in a QB, a short memory. Even the best have thrown 4 interceptions in a game, so what. We won because AD also finds a way to score in any way he can. He threw for 2 TDs Sunday, ran it in for another, and hands it off when that is what is needed. Granted, he made a mistake by not just tucking it and running it in on that 1 yard line interception, but hey, he was responsible for enough points to outscore the Ravens Sunday despite his mistakes. I think the man fits with our team just perfect. He may not have the strongest arm, but he can throw it over 50 yards in the air with accuracy as we saw on Sunday. Several of ADs interceptions this year have not been his fault anyway and that is according to AJ and Marvin. But even if they were, I still stand behind a QB that makes those mistakes but sets a record for TD passes and is willing to run the ball and dive head first into an oncoming Safety or Linebacker to get an extra yard. He is also becoming amazing at selling the fake hand-off as we also saw on Sunday. How great was that? Fooled the Ravens, cameraman, crowd, and me. Pretty cool! Lastly on the subject of AD, he does play on a team with 52 other players and he is just one part of the machine. He does his part professionally and works hard just like Marvin wants from his players and while he may not be the best QB seeing he is just in his 3rd year, We have a lot of average Joes on the team who because they keep working hard become great. I truly believe that Andy will be among those we are calling a great QB in a couple of more years.
As far as Marvin, he inherited a mess. As he admitted in his last press conference, he too started himself from scratch in 2009. He had learned a lot in those first years with Cincinnati and admits he was not really good at a lot of things. But since he called for the team, including himself, to start from scratch in 2009 he has gotten us to the playoffs 4 times and won the Division twice. Since they drafted Andy they are 30-18 and better each year. I saw how he and Vontaze interacted when Vontaze got called for his second foul on Sunday and I think Marvin has grown in his coaching ability in the last 4 years as much as the team has improved. He has learned how to interact in a way to get the most out of his players. You don't always have to be yelling and tough. Sometimes understanding them and how hard they are trying to please you is what is needed. I truly believe that this group of players would march into hell for Marvin. I know Vontaze would. So, I think he is finally coming into his own as a head coach and learning how to motivate and how to get the most out of his players. I think he has learned a lot from Zimmer if you want to know the truth. But anyway, I believe that he is finally ready to coach a high caliber team correctly. I believe that when he was hired he was good, but to be a great head coach takes some learning and some time. I think it started clicking in 2009 for him. I think things are on the verge of starting to really click for Andy now too.
Lastly, this is a team. Defense and offense. They help each other. They support each other. Andy is just one cog in the machine and he is doing as well as can be expected of him at this point of his career. How many third year QBs have his stats or have accomplished what he has so far? Not many. So I say, get off his back. (That is aimed at the critics). Let him grow up and while you are griping don’t forget to enjoy watching the team finally have one winning season after another or get into the playoffs perennially finally. Just like the elite teams. Could we do this before Andy? No. Are we doing it now? Yes. Sometimes I think that just because we are the Bengals that people expect us to be bad. Now that we aren’t, they don’t have anything to gripe about so they look for any imperfection they can find. Poor AD is surrounded by such great players right now that he is the weakest thing they can find to talk about even though we would have killed to have him back in the Akili Smith, Jon Kitna, David Klingler days. I never dreamed we would ever have a record breaking QB that won 3 or 4 player awards during the season and was a Pro Bowler and be griping about it! What has happened to the Bengal fans? When will we be happy? Just a few years ago we would have killed for a winning season. Now that is the norm around here like it is in New England or Baltimore or Pittsburgh (usually), I guess we have to complain until we reach another goal. What will we gripe about then? Probably something stupid like ADs completion percentage. If we do reach our goals this year I guess Andy better find a way to complete over 70% of all passes with 0 interceptions and at least 40 TDs and 5000 yards every year along with a playoff berth or it will be a bad year…
But seriously, he is just a kid handling more pressure than we can imagine. And I for one do not believe for a second that none of this criticism hurts him. I think he kicks himself for every mistake and I think the nerves get to him once in a while. He is human after all. So did you ever think that maybe that is why this poor kid has had a difficult time in the really big, nationally televised games. Maybe he really is a little nervous. He is just in his 3rd year and people expect a lot from him. But he just won’t admit all of this or show it. He can’t. He has to have on his game face all the time. But I believe that as he grows so will his ability to deal with those nerves. He will be ok. The Bengals will be ok. We have a reputation and expectations to live up to now. Players that can deal with that will be our future, so we will just keep getting better or at the very least remain as good as we are, and in my opinion that is not so bad.