The Cincinnati Bengals are a bad team right now, entering Week 3 with an 0-2 record and zero touchdowns scored. As is usually the case with bad teams, there are going to be a lot of negative reports involving the organization.
The Bengals have already had several of these emerge, but the latest may be the most concerning of them all. According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, some Bengals players are ready to see a change at quarterback, but not necessarily a move from Andy Dalton to AJ McCarron.
Instead, some players think Colin Kaepernick is the answer.
The team insists that quarterback Andy Dalton is safe.
But the feeling within the locker room, we’re told, is that the leash isn’t quite so long, and that if the struggles continue under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, the next one to go could be Dalton.
This means that A.J. McCarron would take over, if Dalton is indeed benched. But there’s a feeling among some of the players that the Bengals should go off the board and consider bringing in Colin Kaepernick.
The news here isn’t Kaepernick. He’s not getting signed by the Bengals. Period. End of discussion.
The news here is that Dalton really is losing the locker room if players think they’re better off with a free agent off the street. One of the quickest ways for a team to implode is to lose all confidence in the starting quarterback, the presumed leader of the franchise (see: Jaguars and Blake Bortles).
That’s what Dalton has been for seven years now, but he’s now facing what’s easily his most adversity as an NFL player. How well he responds to it and plays in Week 3 against a tough Packers team will go a long way in shutting down these rumors and keeping his teammates on his side.
There are already reports that head coach Marvin Lewis faced a “near mutiny” after losing to the Texans in embarrassing fashion. It looks like changing offensive coordinators stemmed the tide for now, though it’s hard to say if it actually makes this offense better.
If the Bengals continue to have clunkers and fail to reach the end zone, that howling for a new quarterback will only grow. Again, don’t expect Kaepernick to even get a sniff of acknowledgment from the Bengals, but McCarron could be closer to taking over than we realize.