In 1984, the Bengals selected Boomer Esiason in the second round of the draft with the 38th overall pick.
This year, Cincinnati chose Andy Dalton in the second round with the 35th overall pick.
My broadcasting partner Dave Lapham has watched both quarterbacks from the booth and sees some similarities.
“I think they both have a chip on their shoulder that they weren’t drafted in the first round and I think that they play that way,” said Lapham. “Boomer definitely played that way and I think Andy Dalton does too. The other thing I noticed about Andy Dalton is how effective he is on the sideline – firing his teammates up and approaching the game with a linebacker’s mentality. That was Boomer Esiason. He had the swagger and he challenged guys and backed it up. Andy seemed to do that up in Denver, so I think there are a lot of similarities.”
After two games, Dalton has a quarterback rating of 105.7. In Boomer’s final season (1997) with the Bengals, he had a QB rating of 106.9.
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As feared after the Denver game, wide receiver Jordan Shipley will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL.
“You know where (Shipley) is going to be on the field all of the time,” said quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese. “There’s a certainty with him and that’s been really enjoyable to have.”
“It takes away a security blanket that Andy Dalton had,” said Lapham. “When you’re in a third down situation, you have to totally be able to trust your slot guy. If you have trust in that guy and know that he is exactly where he is supposed to be, it gives you great comfort at the quarterback position. That’s a tough thing for Andy Dalton to lose as a rookie.”
Andre Caldwell becomes the Bengals primary slot receiver and rookie Ryan Whalen is a candidate to be activated on game day for the first time to provide depth.
“You never want to see someone get hurt and Jordan Shipley means a lot to this team because he’s a great player and person,” said Whalen. “The way that he creates separation with his shiftiness and some of the moves that he makes in the slot are really helpful to watch, because he can get open against guys that are really good players. Even though I wasn’t playing, I’ve prepared for the opportunity and if it comes, I’ll make the most of it and do the best that I can.”
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I hope you’ll join Dave Lapham and me for Bengals Game Plan on Wednesday night from 6 to 8 on ESPN 1530-AM.
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