Not everyone is sold on Andy Dalton as a future NFL star.
Two seasons and two playoff trips certainly constitute a nice start for the quarterback's career, but critics look at game tape and see flaws. They question Dalton's deep ball, pocket presence and that unsightly performance in the Cincinnati Bengals' January playoff loss to the Houston Texans.
In other words, Dalton remains a work in progress as he enters his third season. Dalton's top receiver, A.J. Green, disagrees with any notion the quarterback is under the gun.
"I don't feel like it's a make-or-break year for him," Green said Tuesday, according to the Bengals' official website. "He's still the quarterback of the future because he has every intangible to be a great one. He works hard, he has great leadership. I think he'll be fine."
Green said time is all Dalton needs to reach the next level.
"You look at Tom Brady and all the best quarterbacks in the league, it takes four or five years for them to really get in a groove," Green said. "Aaron Rodgers sat behind (Brett) Favre for years. (The criticism) comes with the territory."
In our Top 10 QBs Under 25 series, Gregg Rosenthal wrote that Dalton has proved he won't lose games for the Bengals but has yet to show he can win them. After a rough close to his sophomore season, Dalton must eliminate doubt.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.