Start or no start?

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on May 6, 2011 – 12:57 pm

It sounds more and more like the Bengals aren’t batting an eye about making Andy Dalton a rookie Opening Day quarterback. Which goes to show you when it comes to quarterbacks, like Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said after they picked him, they are in the eye of the beholder.

The indication is that one of the reasons the Bengals picked Dalton last week is because they felt he was closer to NFL ready than the other guys they were considering. Now the Seahawks are admitting they considered him at No. 25 in the first round before opting for Alabama’s James Carpenter, a guy they think can help them right away.

Via Seahawks general manager John Schneider told 710 ESPN radio, “I think we all felt like we were at a point in our development where we couldn’t pass on a starting tackle right now. Quite honestly, we’d like to have a (QB), especially a rookie, be more of a developmental type and a guy more like Aaron Rodgers and sit for a year or two. So that was really the only point in the draft where there was a guy where we were like, ‘There he is, that’s a very viable option.’ ”

The question facing the Bengals is what kind of caliber free agent can they get with a quarterback of the future already in place? And, this isn’t exactly the same scenario when Carson Palmer was drafted in 2003 and they developed him for a year behind Jon Kitna.

Kitna had already started 33 games in offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski’s system. This time, the veteran and the rookie would be learning the same system at the same time. That levels the playing field for Dalton (it already sounds like Gruden had a Dalton-type guy in mind) and if he plays now, that means he’ll be getting the growing pains out of the way earlier than Palmer did, when they put up an 8-8 the first year he played.

That said, if it is a shortened training camp, the veteran could be a nice bridge in what could be a very weird first month of the season.

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