Dalton era in Cincy? Rookie is No. 1 on team's depth chart

  • By NFL.com
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Andy Dalton was No. 1 on the Cincinnati Bengals' depth chart Monday, a move that gives him the inside track to being the first rookie quarterback to start an opener for the team in 42 years.

"There's still a lot of camp left, but it means a lot that they would go ahead and put that up there. I think it just shows that I've been working hard and hopefully I can keep improving and keep my name up there," Dalton told The Cincinnati Enquirer.

"I think it shows they have confidence in me. I don't think they would have drafted me if they didn't have that confidence. I've just tried to come in here and take all of the coaching that I can get and go apply it to what we're doing out here on the field. Hopefully I can keep doing that and keep improving every day and hopefully make this team win a lot of ballgames."

The redhead from TCU, a second-round draft pick, is the heir apparent to Carson Palmer, who told the Bengals he would retire if he wasn't traded before this season. So far, the team has refused to trade Palmer.

Veteran Bruce Gradkowski, signed as a free agent last month to compete with and mentor Dalton, was No. 2 on Monday's depth chart.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis also has given a starting spot to rookie wide receiver A.J. Green, the team's first-round draft pick out of Georgia. Bengals fans hope the Dalton-Green connection will be one of the NFL's best for years to come. The two already have hooked up on some impressive connections during training camp.

The other starting receiver on Monday's depth chart was fourth-year pro Jerome Simpson.

Dalton said the coaching staff hasn't told him how much he will play in Cincinnati's preseason opener Friday in Detroit, but Lewis indicated it would be longer than what he usually plays starters in the first game.



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