LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 20: Andy Dalton attends the NFL PLAYERS Premiere League Flag Football Game at UCLA on May 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
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CINCINNATI - He related the tale to me more than once and others having corroborated it over the years, I presume it true. Come what may, John Murdough, the late business manager for the Cincinnati Bengals, always punctuated its telling with a hearty knowing laugh about the incident he witnessed in 1969.
The Bengals were wrapping up their second ever training camp, preparing for the season, when Paul Brown paused to do an interview with Jack Moran. "Bugsy" as his colleagues sometimes called him was the long time WCPO-TV sports anchor for "The Al Schottelkotte News". Again, this was 1969, the year the Bengals had drafted Greg Cook in the first round and the UC All-American was as advertised: a game changer.
According to Murdough, the also now deceased Moran had just asked 'PB' "...how far do you think a young team like this can go?" when Cook happened, heard the question and instinctively answered it for Brown: "As far as I take them," he blurted. Cook took them to four wins and was voted AFL Rookie of the Year in 1969.
Paul, I'm told, didn't flinch. He simply offered his own response to Moran's question: "What he said", gesturing toward his rookie quarterback, affirming the charismatic Cook's self assessment. Paul loved Greg Cook. His ability, his leadership, his confidence.
Paul Brown would love Andy Dalton. His hair is as defiantly crimson as Cook's was dashingly blonde. He also has the leader like gait of Cook. And like Cook, the team, or more accurately, the offense hangs on his strong right arm.
Marvin Lewis was compelled by NFL rules to issue a depth chart today. Didn't want to, it just had to be done. He didn't however have to put Andy Dalton's name at the top of the Quarterbacks list but he did. There it is, ahead of Bruce Gradkowski, a 6 year veteran signed when the lockout ended and Jordan Palmer, a 5th year pro.
By all accounts Dalton handled the battle field promotion with all the aplomb of someone who's accustomed to leading.
This might be fun. Paul Brown, John Murdough and Jack Moran could attest to that.
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