Ever since Andy Dalton was drafted out of TCU in 2011, former Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason has been an avid supporter of him. Dalton has received quite a bit of criticism from both fans and media after the Bengals offense struggled mightily down the stretch of the 2012 season, leading to another first-round playoff exit.
Esiason strongly defended Dalton, saying he believed he can lead the Bengals to where they want to go:
"Time out, they were down on Joe Flacco too and look at Joe five years now is in the Super Bowl, Esaison said in an interview during the '13 offseason." People have to calm down. You have to remember that Andy Dalton plays in a conference with Flacco, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady. I mean come on. Everybody has to calm down. I’m not down on Dalton at all, I’m a buyer."
Well, the song remains the same this offseason. Dalton once again struggled in the Bengals' first-round playoff exit, and now more than ever, Dalton is viewed as the main weakness of a team that should be a championship contender.
Esiason told Bengals.com website that he views Dalton as a very good young quarterback who deserves support and not criticism.
"I never had a season like he had this year. He’ll be fine,’ Esiason said. "The trajectory is like this, 9-7, 10-6, 11-5, 22 touchdowns, 27 touchdowns, 33 touchdowns. The guy is a really good player. Everyone just has to calm down."
It is nice to have the support of someone who was in a similar situation as you, but Dalton has to do more this coming season to earn the support of more people than just Boomer. Otherwise, the criticism will remain for his inability to get this team over the playoff hump.