No one's going to mistake Andy Dalton for an 'elite' quarterback, but that doesn't mean the Bengals aren't going all-in on him.
In fact, Marvin Lewis doesn't want there to be any competition at QB. When asked about that possible scenario at the NFL Owners meeting, Lewis replied with, "What team in the NFL has had a quarterback competition and it's worked?"
Lewis was then asked about the 49ers once having a battle between Steve Young and Joe Montana to be the starter. Lewis didn't buy it, saying, "There was no competition, they let Steve play and moved Joe on. We feel Andy Dalton is our quarterback. Yes, we do. We do. It’s a different era than when Steve and Joe there."
I think we can all agree Dalton doesn't come close to the play of those two hall-of-famers.
Despite Dalton coming off a season in which he threw 19 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, the Bengals, at least publicly are saying that they're still sold on Dalton as their franchise signal-caller.
Mike Brown echoed those sentiments, though he was more willing to admit Dalton isn't good enough to necessarily make those around him better, instead needing a strong supporting cast to succeed, per Geoff Hobson:
Brown continued the organization-wide support of Dalton and recalled a conversation he had Sunday with another club official.
"He was going on about things in general and he made the off-the-cuff remark, of course, ‘you guys have a quarterback,’" Brown said. "You go round and about and Andy is perceived higher by some people than he seems to be all the time locally. He is the style of guy who can function best when he has a good group around him. He needs that.
"Maybe he needs it more than some, but they all need it. There is no quarterback that goes out and has success without good players in the mix."
Whether or not you believe in Dalton, you have to admit his supporting cast hasn't been the best it could possibly be. Injuries to Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert prevented that last year in addition to A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham missing time as well.
It's clear the Bengals are banking on Dalton doing better in 2015 with a stronger supporting cast. Let's hope that's what comes to be.