I can’t believe I’m saying it, but the Bengals are actually starting to make some moves that make sense. Anyone who has been around the Cincinnati Bengals over the last 3-4 years knows how annoying a very specific sect of the fan base can be the second Andy Dalton began to struggle. Has Andy been good? Yeah. Has he been great? At times. Has Andy been frustrating? Absolutely. The fact remains, he’s been the best QB on the Bengals roster since the day he was drafted.
For the last few seasons, before an incomplete pass would hit the ground on a failed 3rd-and-13 conversion, you’d hear people calling for AJ McCarron. Well, now that they can’t make those cries for McCarron since he’s Buffalo’s problem, I was becoming very concerned on who the next AJ would be and I was worried the Bengals would do something on Draft Day to recreate the same situation we just rid ourselves from. Matt Barkley was signed in the offseason and by the looks of it, he will be the backup to Dalton should he go down with injury at any point in the 2018 season. At 27-years-old, he’s not exactly “the answer” to the Bengals QB problems should Andy struggle throughout the season so hopefully we won’t have people blowing up Lance McAlister and Mo Egger every night on Cincinnati sports talk radio calling for Barkley to be the starter. Actually, that’s probably exactly what will happen when Andy goes 3-and-out in the second preseason game.
There was a lot of speculation throughout the weeks leading up to the draft on what the Bengals would do to address the future of the team in the post-Andy era. There were a lot of people out there thinking they could keep an eye on Mason Rudolph out of Oklahoma State, who ended up being drafted as the heir apparent to Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh. Pssss, Mason: if Ben asks for you to come into the bathroom with him, RUN! Some experts even thought the Bengals could get Lamar Jackson late in the first round should he fall to 21. Well, he did, and the Bengals didn’t draft him. I would have been perfectly fine with the Lamar Jackson pick with the plan to have him waiting in the wings if the Bengals decided to move on from Andy Dalton within the next few seasons, but I don’t know if I could’ve handled the former AJ McCarron fan club shifting their efforts to a Lamar for Starter campaign. Now, we’ll have to deal with him shredding the Bengals twice a year in Baltimore once they finally get out from under Flacco’s insane contract.
By not drafting a QB that can be viewed as the next starter in Cincinnati (sorry, Logan Woodside, but it’s not like you went to a real MAC school like OU), the Bengals have more or less said “Andy’s our starting QB rain or shine, and all of the haters can lick our fat co…”
Well, they were probably more P.C. in what they were thinking when they didn’t draft a big time QB prospect or bring in one of the marquee backups (band name!) that were available in the offseason. Plus, if Andy struggles this season, the Bengals will likely have a very high draft pick in 2019 which will allow them to get a better QB than what was available in this year’s draft. I know absolutely nothing about any of the QBs coming out of college in 2019 and I’m sure the list of the best available QBs will change approximately 2,984,724 times between now and then, but let’s just pretend that top to bottom the 2019 QB class is far superior to 2018’s.
Andy will get the pressure he needs from Matt Barkley holding the clipboard in the #2 spot and he would not have benefited from the vocal minority constantly calling for Mason Rudolph or Lamar Jackson to start after a rough outing. This is what we call a win-win scenario, folks. Hopefully in 2018 we get Good Andy, because we all know how successful that can be, especially now that the Bengals have an offensive line that can protect him and open up the running game for Joe Mixon and Gio Bernard. The addition of Billy Price in the first round (no relation to Bryan Price, although I’ve called him Bryan no fewer than 75 times since he got drafted Thursday night) and Cordy Glenn via trade should be enough to erase the gigantic question mark that hung over the team’s worst unit (another band name) for the 2017 season.
Let’s pretend the Bengals can’t get it together this year and the offensive line struggles to protect Andy and they end up picking in the top-5. Is that really a bad thing? I’ll let you decide, but all I’m saying is [insert wildly popular college QB of the week’s name here] will look great in Bengal stripes.
Let’s pretend the Bengals get it together and they are picking #32 in the 2019 draft. Hopefully Team’s Worst Unit and the Marquee Backups aren’t on tour and are available to play at the parade.Follow @BennyMacBlog