You have to love seeing the Bengals being supportive of each other publicly.
Starting right tackle Andre Smith took it to another level by labeling Andy Dalton as the best quarterback in the NFL. It happened when Smith joined Jay Mohr Sports on Thursday and said that Dalton is the league's best QB while praising the fifth-year signal-caller for how much he's matured and grown as a leader.
"Andy's a phenomenal quarterback," Smith said. "In my opinion, he's the best quarterback in the NFL. He does everything the right way. He's always pushing us. He's a great leader. Just the growth in him over the past four years, he's grown so much and matured into the man he's supposed to be."
I think we can all respectfully agree Dalton is not the best QB in professional football. However, you can't deny that he's played like one of the best over the first two weeks of the season. Dalton's 2.5 Pro Football Focus rating is the ninth best of any QB. His 120.3 QB rating is the fifth best, just ahead of Patriots QB and future hall-of-famer Tom Brady.
What's most impressive is that Dalton is the only NFL QB who hasn't taken a sack or turned the ball over. Considering he's had a combined 62 turnovers since 2012, that's a big improvement if he's able to keep avoiding turnovers as the season progresses.
If Dalton keeps playing like he did in the first two games, Smith could certainly keep making this kind of claim. After all, with the supporting cast Dalton has, there's really no excuse for him to not look like one of the league's best QBs.
You can hear the full audio interview with Mohr here: