It might not be that much of a surprise to hear Bengals defensive end Wallace Gilberry praised AJ McCarron recently while speaking to a radio station in Mobile, Alabama. Both played college ball at Alabama and naturally McCarron has piqued the interest in Alabama as one of the school's biggest stars of recent years. So naturally, Alabama football fans are interested in McCarron's development and growth in the NFL.
The connections between these two extends beyond just playing for Nick Saban. From AL.com:
Gilberry preceded McCarron as an Alabama standout. His final season for the Crimson Tide was in 2007. McCarron arrived at Alabama in 2009. Both players also are former Coastal Alabama prep standouts – Gilberry at Baldwin County and McCarron at St. Paul's.
When asked about how McCarron has looked during OTA practices over the last two weeks, Gilberry seemed impressed.
"The kid is doing awesome," Gilberry said during on Friday on "WNSP Opening Kickoff" on WNSP-FM 105.5. "When I say awesome, that's kind of an understatement. I mean, last year, he kind of struggled with the arm situation. But this year, man, he looks like AJ from St. Paul's with the way he's throwing the ball. His throwing motion is on point. His passes are on point. I think he's thrown one interception the whole camp. Not to say Andy (Dalton) has thrown any, but the kid is competing."
Despite the praise and the note that McCarron is pulling away from his backup contemporaries, Dalton won't be replaced if he struggles. We'll direct you to Coley Harvey's highly logical conclusion:
I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it: There will be no such position battle in August. Some of Who Dey Nation might be happy to read this, but the Bengals decided long ago who their starting quarterback this season would be. His name is Andy Dalton. If Dalton struggles even in the slightest bit over the course of the season, those whispers I'm hearing now will turn into highly audible yells, I'm most certain of that. But again, the Bengals don't appear in any hurry to give AJ McCarron action as a regular-season starter, although he'll receive plenty of reps during the preseason.