Cincinnati Bengals 2014 Training Camp Profile: A.J. McCarron

By Ronnie Hampston
A.J. McCarron
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The Cincinnati Bengals already have a starting quarterback in Andy Dalton, and Jason Campbell was brought in to be a backup, but there is always a need for quality quarterbacks. The Bengals selected McCarron in the fifth round, and he will have to fight to make the team. With McCarron, the Bengals are getting a winning quarterback who has the ability to play at a high level.

McCarron has always been overlooked for who he played with at Alabama, but it’s unfair that he is judged by that. McCarron has been labeled a game-manager, but I like to label him as a winner. There have been several teams with world-class athletes on the college level who have failed to deliver. In McCarron’s, case he delivered for the Crimson Tide and led them to two national championships.

McCarron doesn’t have the arm strength, mobility, or intangibles that teams drool over when it comes to a starting quarterback, but that doesn’t mean he can’t succeed. McCarron is entering the perfect situation where he can learn under veterans Campbell, Dalton, and quarterback coach Ken Zampese. Being a sponge and taking mental reps is just as important as learning on the fly on the field.

McCarron won’t push Dalton during this training camp for reps, but if he improves at a steady pace, he can apply some pressure on Dalton in the next few years or so. Dalton has led the Bengals to the playoffs in each of his seasons as a starting quarterback, but he isn’t dependable when the game matters most. McCarron may have to get used to something that he is not accustomed to doing, and that is sitting. But in his case, it may benefit him in the long run.

Ronnie Hampston is a writer for, follow him on Twitter @Ron_Hamp, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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