INDIANAPOLIS — For Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, one year removed from an NFL lockout that froze offseason activities, there’s nothing more valuable than a little face time with his young QB, Andy Dalton.
“I think it’s going to be a huge thing for Andy to have, not only the offseason, but a resume of work, and something that he can build upon and improve upon with the rest of our players,” Lewis said Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “He spoke so much about that, that he can’t wait to have the opportunity to get back to work and to be able to look at the different things and the different concepts that we do offensively.”
Lewis viewed Dalton’s Pro Bowl selection as more than an all-expenses-paid jaunt to Hawaii. For Dalton, it was a prime opportunity “to be around some of these veteran players, and I just told (him), ‘Suck the knowledge out them and come back,’ and I think that’s important.”
Dalton took over the Bengals’ quarterback job at a time when Carson Palmer‘s future in Cincinnati was still a troubling question mark. But Lewis was impressed with the young man’s calm demeanor from Day 1 and throughout a season that produced a playoff berth.
“Nothing seemed to be too big,” Lewis said. “He seems to take almost everything in stride, and his personality is one that’s very unassuming but yet very quiet — quiet demeanor, quiet determination and resolve.”
The Bengals found that elusive prize: a young passer with promise. From the look in Lewis’ eye, The Glowing Ginger Man is here to stay.
– Marc Sessler