Andy Dalton's successes and struggles have been well documented. So we'll avoid rehashing them as much as we can with this particular post to kick off your Thursday.
What hasn't been stated quite as much are the reasons the Cincinnati Bengals continue to believe he is their quarterback of the present and, at the very least, short-term future.
Why exactly have head coach Marvin Lewis and his assistants been so firm in their support of Dalton over the years, almost to the point of defiance at times? It comes down to patience. While there really isn't much patience to be had in today's quick-trigger NFL, it is through remaining patient that the Bengals believe the quarterback heading into his fourth season will soon turn the final corner they have been confidently awaiting for so long.
Dalton's struggles come down to two things: lacking consistency and lacking success in the playoffs. The time for Dalton to finally be the quarterback the Bengals envisioned he could be is now. He's already performed some rather impressive feats in his first three seasons, putting up numbers that even some of the game's current elite quarterbacks weren't able to touch in their first three years in the league.
But his failure to win a playoff game in three tries and the apparent problem he has at maintaining his high level of play from week-to-week have hurt perceptions about him. Most around the NFL believe Dalton is a good quarterback, but that he's just not in that upper echelon of signal-callers.
So why are we talking about Dalton this morning? Because it was while evaluating quarterbacks and other soon-to-be professional players at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., all week that Bengals coaches were reminded of the 2011 Senior Bowl. It was one they coached, and one that gave them an up-close-and-personal look at quarterbacks like TCU's Dalton, Florida State's Christian Ponder and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick. Of the three, Kaepernick appears to have had the better NFL career, winning more playoff games and reaching the Super Bowl already.
At the time, the Bengals had no room for patience. They needed someone to replace Carson Palmer immediately. So Dalton was drafted. Don't be surprised if the patience the Bengals have tried to show with their quarterback since that rookie season begins to lessen. They know the time to win in the postseason is at hand.
This Thursday's Morning Stripes begins with a look at remaining patient with Dalton:
Filed from the Senior Bowl, here is Geoff Hobson's account for Bengals.com of the patience the Bengals are showing Dalton as they look back on the process of drafting him three years ago.
Bengals.com's Hobson also has a look at Lewis' thoughts about the third incarnation of a Bengals "reboot" under his watch. Since taking over as head coach in 2003, Lewis has led the Bengals through three different eras, he believes. First, he had to get his players to all buy into what he wanted to build after he arrived. Then, came the 2011 offseason, when Lewis was given a second chance after coming off a 4-12 season. Now comes this offseason, one that has already included overhauls of his offensive and defensive coordinators.
Here's another look at Lewis' thoughts on the reboot from the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy, who also has been in Mobile this week.
Reedy's Enquirer colleague, columnist Paul Daugherty, tackles the bizarre hang-up in a county building project the Bengals are trying to fight. The Bengals are worried that an additional eight feet of height on a proposed nearby building goes against Paul Brown Stadium's lease, and will distract from views of the city's famed skyline for club-level ticket holders.