It's been a good week for The Glowing Ginger Man.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton on Wednesday night earned his first-ever appearance on the NFL Network's annual *Top 100 *list. The veteran passer also earned the respect of a new teammate.
Wide receiver Brandon LaFell, who spent the past two seasons playing with Tom Brady in New England, went out of his way to praise Dalton.
"Watching them reel off (eight) straight wins (last season), I knew he was pretty good," LaFell said during mandatory minicamp, per the team's official website. "But I've been here since April working with that guy (and AJ McCarron) -- he's way better than advertised."
Dalton last year posted a career high in completion percentage (66.1) and a career-low seven picks, while calmly guiding the Bengals to a 10-2 mark before breaking his thumb in Week 14. Dalton's low interception total matched that of Brady, but LaFell sees other similarities.
"Everybody respects him just like everybody respects Brady," LaFell said. "How Brady demands the best out of everybody and Andy is doing the same thing. Both of those guys are smart guys. Both get the offense in the right play. They always get the ball to the right person at the right time. It's two different offenses, but both of those guys are winners."
The challenge for Dalton is repeating last year's heroics despite losing receivers Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, and talented play-caller Hue Jackson. His teammates, starting with LaFell, believe that's entirely possible.