Unfortunately for him, A.J. McCarron seems to be the type of guy who says a certain something and others take it out of context. He attempted to show confidence in his pre-draft interviews with teams and they deemed him "arrogant". Whispers then started to circulate about his relationship with Crimson Tide teammates. He makes a comment about the "sacrifices" he made while at Alabama and gets crushed. More on that a little later.
It's these incidents, along with the label of "game manager", that caused McCarron to slip far lower than expected--all the way to the fifth round. Though some contingent of Bengals fans threw up their arms in exasperation when the team made the decision to take McCarron, none can deny the value of grabbing him at least two rounds after he was projected.
In reading some of his comments from a conference call to the media (courtesy of the Los Angeles Times), McCarron might have eaten a little bit of humble pie on Mother's Day.
"I know my role. I'm a rookie on this team and I respect Andy Dalton with everything," McCarron said in a teleconference with reporters. "He's the guy and I want to learn everything I can from him to better myself for the future. I'm just looking forward to it."
McCarron added: "If that means me holding the clipboard for a couple of years and giving Andy reports during the week and watching film with him and helping him in any way I can, I'm just ready to do it."
It sounds like the scenario that most Bengals fans are envisioning for McCarron is the one he is embracing, at least for the time-being. Most pundits that have analyzed the draft feel that McCarron is in a good situation with Cincinnati because of surrounding talent and the matching of offensive systems from college to pro.
In another interview with XM/Sirius Sports Radio, McCarron made more comments that drew the ire from some Crimson Tide faithful, stating that he "wasn't healthy at Alabama".
"I sacrificed a lot to play for Coach Saban and that university. I played through a lot of injuries and we never leaked it because that's just the way it is.
"I've played through a lot, just try to fight through for my teammates and my team."
The "Twitter tough guys" came out of the woodwork and started slamming McCarron for the statements. The standout college quarterback defended himself on the social media platform with a series of tweets regarding the interview. It hasn't been the smoothest of entries by players into the NFL, but Bengals Nation is hopeful that the on-field play (or "holding the clipboard") will go much smoother in the months and years ahead.