CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton loves to talk football.
When it comes to his personal life, he has remained pretty quiet... until now.
9 News anchor Tanya O'Rourke sat down one-on-one with the Bengals leader Monday where he opened up for the first time since coming to Cincinnati.
Dalton opened up about everything from his recent marriage, his faith and being a redhead to what he's digging into when he visits Graeter's.
Dalton said playing quarterback in the National Football League is a dream come true and that he's having a lot of fun leading the Bengals to a 7-4 record so far this season. The team has accomplished a lot, exceeding virtually everyone's expectations, but they still have work to do.
The rookie quarterback, like so many athletes, is conditioned to talk about their sport. But when it comes to his personal life, Dalton is a little more subdued.
Dalton said having his newlywed wife, Jordan, with him in Cincinnati is what makes him the most happy.
"It's been a big year," said Dalton.
He got drafted by the Bengals in the second round in April's draft, got married in July then moved to Cincinnati to begin his NFL career.
Andy and his wife have a dog named "Zoey" and love being homebodies.
In fact, every night they make it a point to watch their favorite television shows together and still have "date night" one night a week. Dalton said having his wife's support has been instrumental in his path to success.
When it comes to kids, Dalton said "not anytime soon."
He and his wife like being in Cincinnati, but at this point, aren't sure if it will be their permanent home. The Texas natives are still trying to get used to the weather.
Dalton said Cincinnati is not a big city, but "has that big city feel" and he feels blessed to be here.
Faith is a big part of Dalton's life. The Bengals quarterback credits God for being where he is today.
"I've been given so much. God has blessed me. I'm happy to be where I am," Dalton said. "Very thankful."
While Dalton has yet to try Skyline, he does enjoy "Buckeye Blitz" from Graeter's.
The former Horned Frog said he tries to watch TCU as much as he can.
Bengals radio announcer Dan Hoard nicknamed Dalton the "red rifle" during the preseason. It's a nickname that has stuck this season. Some like it, some do not. Dalton isn't a huge fan of the nickname, but "I guess they found a way to spin it a little." He would rather be called Andy.
Growing up he was also called "Red" but wasn't teased about his hair color like so many redheads are.
"I guess growing up I never really got made fun of," he said.
While in college, Dalton met with two little boys who reached out to TCU after they were teased about their hair color.
Like so many athletes, Dalton realizes he's a role model for kids. "I definitely want people to look up to me. The way I try to live my life. Be myself. My faith is a big part of it as well. Hopefully kids see that and look up to me."
While he's yet to officially put his name on something that benefits the community, Dalton said he and his wife have talked about it and that there "will be something."
When the Bengals took Dalton in the second round of April's draft, there was still the chance Carson Palmer would return to Cincinnati. Dalton said he wasn't sure what was going to happen and was preparing to be the starter.
"I don't think anybody in the locker room was worried about what he was doing."
Dalton earned the nod at starting quarterback and the team eventually traded Palmer to the Oakland Raiders.
Cincinnati moved on with Dalton, who's making a strong case for NFL Rookie of the Year. The Bengals rookie once again led his team to a comeback win on Sunday.
The Bengals had another strong second half performance and beat the Browns 23-20 to remain one game back in the AFC North heading into this Sunday's rematch with the Steelers.
Dalton said he always knows what's expected of him and knows what's ahead. Even when the Bengals were down against the Browns, Dalton didn't panic and showed why so many people marvel at his leadership abilities.
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