Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson still believes in quarterback Andy Dalton. Call it the standard public defense of a player, or the "what else is he going to say" defense... but Jackson's is genuine. Who else argues his points with such specific reasoning?
Here's the issue. Andy Dalton had a down-year with a roster that was more liability with injuries than benefit. His performance in the pro bowl is disregarded, despite other quarterbacks playing far superior, because of the lack of preparation.
Who cares. Dalton is Dalton and he's here to stay.
"I see in the first three games of the season a guy that played with moxie and tenacity and aggressiveness, and who played extremely well down that 3-0 stretch," Jackson said.
The Bengals began the year 3-0, allowing them to be ranked No. 2 in ESPN's Week 4 and 5 Power Rankings. Dalton hadn't been sacked and had thrown only one interception -- a ball that deflected off his intended receiver's hands -- in those games.
After the promising start, though, Dalton reverted back to his old inconsistent self. His remaining 16 interceptions came in the final 13 games of the regular season. Among other shoddy performances, he went on to have the worst game of his career seven weeks after the blistering start, when he completed just 10 passes and compiled an abysmal 2.0 passer rating in a Week 10 loss to Cleveland.
"I've seen the inconsistency, too," said Jackson, who became the second Bengals coach to back Dalton in as many weeks.
Put me down as a fan of Hue Jackson with overall indifference with Dalton. None of this makes sense. We're providing a belief based on the first three games in September, and then a complete offensive collapse afterward? When you think offense in 2014, you think two things: 1) Jeremy Hill and 2) Dalton's mediocre season a result of having no weapons.
Do you agree with Hue Jackson's perspective?