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Jay Gruden On Rookie Quarterback Andy Dalton: "He Ran The Show"

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Sometimes it's hard to remember that not so long ago, after Andy Dalton was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals, the temporary injunction to lift the NFL lockout was back in place. From that point until about a week ago, Bengals coaches were not allowed contact with the rookie quarterback. Though he did have a playbook and though he worked out with skill players during player-only workouts earlier this month and last, there was an obvious disadvantage for rookies during the lockout.

Yet during Saturday's practice, Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden came away relatively satisfied with his quarterback's demeanor, his absorption of the playbook and quick understanding of the terminology.

"I like watching those big tall guys run with it," Gruden said. "Overall, for (Dalton's) first time in a professional uniform with different receivers he's never thrown to and a different tempo, new plays, it was impressive I thought.

"He spit out all the plays correctly. He didn't have any trouble in the huddle. No panicking, broke the huddle. That's a feat in itself with all new terminology and looking at veteran guys like Whitworth and Bernard Scott and there was no issue with him. He was calm, confident. He missed a few throws but for the most part he ran the show."

Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer observed:

A nice start to training camp. After starting with a couple high passes, he settled down and had good accuracy and timing, completing a couple long balls to A.J. Green.

It'll be a process with Dalton, we're sure. It's why the team signed Bruce Gradkowski, in case the learning process stalls and a little veteran nudging is needed.