Mike Brown preferred Mallett to Dalton, too


The news that Bengals owner Mike Brown preferred Colin Kaepernick to Andy Dalton in round two of the 2011 draft (Dalton was taken one spot before Kaepernick) comes more than two years after word emerged that Brown preferred another quarterback to Dalton.

Thanks to a reminder from a loyal reader, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported in October 2011 that Brown preferred Ryan Mallett to Dalton.  Mallett eventually was selected by the Patriots in round three of the draft.

Schefter said at the time that offensive coordinator Jay Gruden (pictured) was “instrumental” in selling Dalton to Brown.  Though the latest report focuses on a different alternative quarterback, the message continues to be that Gruden wanted Dalton.

Which means that Gruden will likely be spending plenty of time this week during his car wash of head-coaching interviews explaining what he saw in Dalton — and why Gruden hasn’t been able to draw that out of Dalton in three career postseason games.

Also, teams interviewing Gruden perhaps would be wise to see who he likes from the 2014 quarterback class.  And then to pick someone else.

93 responses to “Mike Brown preferred Mallett to Dalton, too

  1. I’m no offensive genius but it seems to me Gruden should have had Dalton throw a few screen passes.

  2. Mike Brown has not been bad at all at this GM thing for the past decade. Should have trusted his gut on this one. Imagine Kaep in stripes. Damn…

  3. Glad to see someone finally realizes how bad Gruden is…Oh wait. That’s not good. We want to get rid of him. Write good things so someone will hire him! Don’t keep writing bad things about him! lol

  4. that’s right if you are losing team you would not want to take a QB who led his team to 3 straight playoff appearances right?it sucks they haven’t won but they would not be in the playoffs if dalton had not gotten them there. think the browns or the rams would not like to have them as their QB right now? pretty sure they would like to be bitching about not winning a playoff game than crying about never making the playoffs.

  5. No. Gruden doesn’t have to worry for three reasons:

    1. Football insiders know that Andy Dalton had below-average to mediocre Marvin Jones/Mohamed Sanu/jermaine gresham and a poor and/or injured 3/5ths of an offensive line

    2. Gruden is only being mentioned to keep the owners negotiations stronger

    3. mike brown is an idiot

  6. Dalton is a middle tier QB that most teams wouldn’t mind having. I dont see what the issue is here.

  7. There’s a huge list of QBs that could have been Bengals that would have been more intriguing and strategic options than using a high 2nd round pick on Andy Dalton. This team just needs to get a great GM in place to sort those issues out for them so they don’t keep misfiring on big personnel decisions.

  8. “Also, teams interviewing Gruden perhaps would be wise to see who he likes from the 2014 quarterback class. And then to pick someone else.”

    Hahaha. That was funny.

  9. Colin Kaepernick would not be as effective on the Bengals. He went to what was already a super bowl contending team, and was basically handed the keys to a ferrari after Alex Smith got injured. I think the Bengals made the correct choice in Andy Dalton. Three straight play off appearances with him as QB is a success. Hey it could be worse. They could have drafted Blain Gabbert instead of A.J. Green.

  10. haha…seems like brown and i were on the same page. kaep and mallet were the two guys i liked in that draft outside luck and RGIII.

  11. Kaepernick could have been more effective elsewhere. He got a late start in San Fran and it can be argued that another team might have been able to develop him even better than they have.

  12. metalhead is obviously not watching these games. Dalton wasn’t just barely bad or just not good enough to win. HE SINGLE HANDEDLY LOST THAT GAME FOR US. He has been nothing but GOD AWFUL in playoff games. Unless another OC can pull of a miracle, Dalton is not the one. Stats are for losers who need to justify why they didn’t make it all the way. Tired of reading his meaningless regular season stats. Those don’t win post-season games!

  13. It’s always instructive to read critiques by people who don’t have their own judgments nitpicked to death years after the fact. No coach or FO person has ever been 100% right.

    This is what prompted Teddy Roosevelt’s famous “Man in the Arena” comment. Google it sometime.

  14. hey look, andy dalton is a good QB and may even end up having a better career than Kaep. i am fumbling for reasons why teams are lining up to interview gruden for their head coaching position however.

  15. Things mike brown prefers more than Andy Dalton:

    – an empty roster spot (zero salary)
    – stadium deals that screw counties
    – no halftime entertainment
    – low flow shower heads in locker room
    – 40 watt light bulbs

  16. Did I miss something? Why is Ryan Mallett so highly regarded? What has he done? There might be an argument for Kaepernick, but why for Mallett????

  17. What I will remember most about Jay this year:
    1. Toss-sweeps to Green-Ellis (two hyphens can’t be a bad thing)

    2. 9 routes to Sanu (speed and jumping? Overrated)

    3. WR Screens (if you throw them enough, after 1000 batted passes and picks, one will hit)

    4. Shotgun Trap (The D isn’t fooled? run it 9 more times)

    5. Woo! Playoffs! AJ Green? Never heard of him.

    6. Tyler Eifert? Did we draft him?

  18. “Which means that Gruden will likely be spending plenty of time this week during his car wash of head-coaching interviews explaining what he saw in Dalton”


    no he won’t because unlike the media, and the general public, professionals in this sport have a longer memory and are able to accurately access Dalton at this stage in his career (a career in which he compares very favorably to P. Manning, Flacco, and Farve among others)

  19. I’ll bet there are a lot of teams who would like to have had their quarterback take them to the postseason three years in a row. Cut the kid some slack. How long did it take Peyton to win one?

  20. The reason why mike brown likes a 3rd round quarterback more than a 2nd round quarterback is the related to the salary growth potential of a second round quarterback (signing bonus + salary + raise – if viable starter).

    mike brown always has his numbers down.

  21. Mallet is sitting behind one of the best QB’s to ever play the game. He hasn’t even had a chance because they haven’t needed him. So can’t compare Dalton to him….yet. Kaep has gone to the SB and now back in the playoffs. Hard to say that picking Dalton over Kaep was the right pick. Maybe for Jay’s system but Kaep is obviously the more dangerous QB of the two. Kaep has a better arm, maybe his accuracy leaves something to be desired at times. But he can also kill you with his legs. Dalton, not so much. Can’t run well, not a very strong arm and accuracy is shotty at times. I’d say Kaep has the advantage.

  22. Can you imagine John Mara, back in 2006 before Eli started winning, saying “yeah, I wanted Rivers or Ben, but Accorsi talked me out of it because he wanted Eli”?? NEVER.

    Class vs no class. Brown is an idiot for saying this…..totally unprofessional. I hope Dalton gets traded and wins a SB with his new team.

  23. The issue isn’t that he drafted Dalton. It’s what he’s done with Dalton — and the rest of the loaded offense — since.

    Not sure what Gruden has done to deserve consideration for these head coaching jobs.

  24. Bengals and Brown were a laughing stock five years ago. Dalton made them contenders, now Brown wants to go back to being a swindler that everybody hates. They couldn’t even sell out a playoff game a few years back.

  25. Geez… you guys are acting like Dalton is Blaine Gabbert or Christian Ponder… he’s not elite, but he did throw for 4000 yards and 30 TDs this year… obviously as a 49ers fan I’m glad they took him instead of Kaep but Dalton is still a good, not great, quarterback.

  26. I am sick of GMs after the fact claiming to love Kaep or Russell Wilson. Unless you are going to show the entire draft board it is all finger pointing. 30 teams were just about to pick or trade for these great choices. Nobody is going to leak they were going to pick a bust. Mike Brown made a lot of bad picks. Kaep. Wilson and Brady should all have been taken in the first round based on production.

  27. It is strange to me because Dalton has had a better career so far than Kaepernick and Mallet overall. His passing numbers rank with the elite in the history of the game for a guy who’s been in the NFL only 3 seasons. He’s made a pro bowl or two if I’m not mistaken.

    Yet he’s dog meat because he and his team played poorly in 3 postseason games against solid competition.

    Let’s not forget that Peyton Manning was a great QB who didn’t get it done in the post season for many years. Dalton will be fine. And if the Vikes had Gruden making the call we’d have Dalton AND a first rounder position player instead of Ponder, who will be cut soon.

  28. Dalton isnt top ten, but I dont get the hate. There are probably ten teams that would love to have Dalton, Jacksonville, Tampa, Minnesota all come to mind. The big question for Cincy is who will start in two years. Can they sign the Ginger Ninja to a reasonable extension, or do they need to get another guy in there?

  29. The hatred of Andy Dalton is irrational and comical.

    If you want to hate him some more… check out his wife.

    Andy is winning.

  30. So Gruden made a bad call on one QB over another in the draft and you want to kill him for that. And as others have said, it’s not like Dalton is a complete bust.

    Every great GM, coach, or whoever is making the picks has made a wr0ng choice in the draft here and there. Just stop with the “we could have had this guy” 20/20 hindsight crap. Every draft has busts and guys who way outperformed their draft position.

  31. Name the ten deepest receiving corps in the NFL.

    It ain’t the Cincinnati Bengals.

    Dalton is working with a Ferrari, two lunch pailers, two rookies, an average running back with below-average hands, and an undependable, non-explosive 1st round underachieving tight end.

    Not to mention offensive line instability.

  32. bengalsucker says:
    Jan 7, 2014 3:07 PM
    metalhead is obviously not watching these games. Dalton wasn’t just barely bad or just not good enough to win. HE SINGLE HANDEDLY LOST THAT GAME FOR US. He has been nothing but GOD AWFUL in playoff games. Unless another OC can pull of a miracle, Dalton is not the one. Stats are for losers who need to justify why they didn’t make it all the way. Tired of reading his meaningless regular season stats. Those don’t win post-season games!


    Damn Andy Dalton for the defense not getting a single sack on Phillip Rivers.

  33. What is the vendetta this site has against Dalton? Now we’re supposed to believe it was a mistake to not draft Mallet too? He’s never played a game in the NFL! How many teams would love to have the problem of losing a playoff game three straight years?

  34. Andy is winning.

    Good for Andy if his wife is pretty, but in his chosen profession he is just mush while a a Super Bowl winner is Filet. You haven’t won one so you wouldn’t know the taste…..keep trying Flacco took five tries.

  35. Nice. I bet Dalton is really thrilled to a Bengal right now. I hope he talks his way off the team to another who would love a guy that spent his first three years leading his team into the play offs.

  36. O good lord, haven’t you guys heard of draft smokescreens??

    “Mike Brown likes (insert QB/skill player name) in the 1st round & half the league totally falls for it hook/line/sinker telling themselves “MFB is toooo stoopid to pull off any smokescreens” … & the other half goes “now what’s he really ‘thinking’ because he’s tooo friggin’ stooopid to be pulling off any smokescreen” …

    meanwhile Brown sits back & laughs thinking he’s some kind of Jack Benny hilarious jokester now on account of even if he tells the straightup truth (even in hindsight) NOBODY can actually believe it!

  37. Nobody is basing Gruden’s entire NFL career off of the Andy pick. We base it off of the fact that he game plans a playoff game, in freezing and windy weather and rain, and a QB who’s not a gunslinger to throw the ball 51 times. Then on 4th and 3, he goes for the end zone. Really?!? The offensive play calling is just that, offensive. It’s predictable. Gruden needs a gunslinging QB. Not a QB that should be throwing short, quick throws or primarily giving the ball to the RB. I think Gruden will fare better with a gunslinger QB and Dalton will fare better with an OC who can game plan for what he’s good at and keep him away from what he struggles with until he can fix it.

  38. QBs taken before Dalton, Kaepernick & Mallett: Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, and Christian Ponder.

    The Bengals picked at number four and got AJ Green, which seems to have worked out okay, instead of taking Locker, Gabbert or Ponder.

    Remember the situation the team was in. Palmer wanted out and was going to retire if he wasn’t traded. The team needed someone to come in and play football NOW. As well as Kaep is doing, he sat out a full year before playing and in his third year is still having some growing pains as a pure passer. Mallett has come off of the bench for preseason and mop up duty.

    Dalton has lead his team to the playoffs three years in a row. None of the QBs before him did that nor did any of the QBs taken after him.

  39. I am a life long Bengals fan and I am going to give my take on Dalton. Let’s start with the fact he is a 2nd round pick who played for a college team of TCU and has done way more than all of the 1st rd picks ahead of him. If you look at where he is at to a lot of the current and past great QB’s in there 1st 3 yrs in the league he is better than most. Does he have that killer mindset, NO he doesn’t. Does he have what it takes to win a SB I believe so in do time. Every yr he has improved sure he throw 20 int this yr, but how many are really his fault 10 at the most????? I’m a huge AJ Green fan, but do you hear the so called football Gods who know everything call him out, when he doesn’t fight for a ball or runs his slant soft and the ball is picked off???? A lot of the Bengals problems aren’t Andy, but the coaches. When they play in big games the TEAM not just ANDY plays soft and slow. And that is from lack of coaching and getting your team fired up.

  40. Yeah… Dalton single-handedly caused all that pocket disruption!!!

    It wasn’t the injured and bad offensive line.

  41. Wow if the Bengals dont want Dalton I am sure the following teams will be happy to take him off your hands:


  42. If anyone honestly thinks Dalton lost that game on his own, you may want to find a different sport to watch.
    The OL was abysmal, play calling was horrid, AJ Green dropped an easy TD, Gio Bernard fumbled another TD away, the defense gave Rivers all day to throw….nothing went right Sunday. There are 53 players and a whole slew of coaches who deserve blame.

  43. It kind of makes you wonder if Mike Brown is trashing these ‘Gruden selected QBs’ to drive down his success at getting an HC so he can stay in Cincy as the OC.

    Gruden didn’t throw those picks. At half-time Cincy had more points than San Diego, and it wasn’t Dalton or Gruden not being able to stop Philip Rivers in the second half…

    The team had a bad half… Just happened to be a really bad half to have a bad half.
    The good news is, the division is still open.

  44. If all these GM’s and Owners who supposedly “loved” a late-round QB pick were so smart they would have used their first round pick on them.

    Congratulating yourself for how smart you are thanks to 20/20 hindsight. Hilarious.

  45. Regular season stats mean nothing until you show you can win a post-season game. Until then, you will be judged. That’s one of the things about this game. Andy did take the Bengals to 3 straight playoff games. He got beat by a backup in the first one. He once again got beat but by a little better QB in the second one and just got beat by a QB who backed into the playoffs by barely squeaking by the Chiefs JV team. Andy has 1TD in 3 playoff appearances. I think like 7 or 8 INT’s. I’d have to look that up. Andy has played flat out awful in these 3 playoff games. Not one of them was even a competitive game for the opponent. Yes it’s a team effort, but he still looked bad among others on the team. So let’s not make the argument that Andy solely led this team to 3 playoffs. The defense has been a key factor on this team. If not for them, god knows what we would have done.

  46. Much better to have consistent playoff Andy Dalton than aging/cap wrecking non-playoff jokers (flacco and ben).

    baltimore is doomed to failure with flacco.

    pittsburgh will lose more veteran leaders due to ben’s salary.

  47. Not to mention offensive line instability.

    It’s funny how the excuses appear after a loss like crabgrass in the spring never mentioned until it’s obvious. The Bungals could do no wrong before losing to the Bolts. You give bandwagon fans a bad rep.

  48. If Dalton can lead the Bengals to the playoffs every year of his career only to lose in the first round of the playoffs….

    Historically that only makes them better than the team they’ve been for the last 40 years.

  49. Dalton has twice as many wins, touchdowns, and passing yardage as The Camel and Mallett Head COMBINED. Better career completion percentage than either of them as well. Playing for an inferior team.

    What’s the gripe?

  50. I smell an agenda…..

    Could it be that you think Gruden is the Redskins next HC and are making a preemptive strike against him in case he gets the job?

    THEN you have bigger story lines about his QB being the guy you despise!

    I’ll go get my boots on Mike!

  51. Can somebody please tell me where the supreme Mike Zimmer pass rush defense was?

    Is Dalton to blame for that too?

    You know what the difference in Andrew Lucks comeback was compared to Dalton’s implosion. PLAYING DEFENSE TOO!

  52. footballfan01 says:

    Red Romo
    0-3 in the playoffs
    1 touchdown
    6 interceptions

    Comment of the day right there!

  53. tvjules says: Jan 7, 2014 3:07 PM

    AJ Green makes Dalton look a lot better than he is.
    Green would have made both of them look a lot better if he hadn’t dropped that perfectly thrown pass down the sideline.

  54. Second round QB who has steadily improved and just threw 33 TDs, and they are bitching?


    Know how long it took Peyton Manning to three 33 TDs in a season? 3 years.

    Tom Brady? 7.

    If you don’t want a decent quarterback and prefer a “winner” sign Tebow and shut up.

  55. Pick someone else? Do we know Mallet is a better QB than Dalton or am I missing something? Oh that’s right. All of Brady’s overblown backups in the past of always been dead on.

  56. Why is it that everyone thinks Dalton sucks so bad? True Bengals fans remember David Klinger, Akili Smith, etc…he has led team to playoffs last 3 years. I get it, they have not performed in big game but at least they are moving in right direction. In my eyes Dalton has at least thru next year before you even think about making a move. The dude is only like 26, right?

    Our society is so now now now….patience is a virtue. Sometimes it takes taking the lumps to get to the top.

  57. What kind of weaksauce owner would let the OC, not even the head coach, but the OC, decide who to draft as the on-field leader of the franchise? These guys have 1 good season as an OC and then get scooped up by other teams. If Brown drafted Dalton to appease the OC, he deserves to be clowned, not Dalton/Gruden.

  58. The point is that it’s a quarterback league and the chances of winning a Super Bowl without a QB playing well in the clutch are remote – don’t think we will see many more Dilfer/ Brad Johnson caretakers – Dalton has not shown that his teams will win because of him not despite him -and analysts like Jaws who have broken down the game tape show that he was baited into at least one of those picks against the Chargers – and the fumble ? 0-3 ? 1 TD 6 picks …..

    “Much better to have consistent playoff Andy Dalton than aging/cap wrecking non-playoff jokers (flacco and ben)” – really Dr Rustbelt ?

    Maybe in fantasy football but in the real world – no way

  59. Wow, I’ve never been the world’s biggest Dalton fan, but even I can’t believe the way you guys are dumping on him. Gruden can just tell people that he’s gotten pretty good regular season play out of Dalton and that the play of Wilson and Kaepernick last year has probably made people forget that plenty young QBs struggle in the playoffs their first few years. Peyton and Joe Flacco, for example, put up some fairly brutal stats their first three seasons in the playoffs too.

  60. Red Romo? Really? What’s Romo’s playoff record over the last three years? The same as Ryan Mallett’s.

  61. Wow, yet another Andy Dalton hit piece.

    Reading these you’d think the guy was a complete train wreck like Jamarcus Russell or Ryan Leaf…

    Get some perspective! Most young QBs struggle in the playoffs — no one knows how much, exactly, because most QBs aren’t in the playoffs their first three years.

    And now Dalton is allegedly worse than a QB who hasn’t even played??

  62. Peyton Manning went 0-3 in his first 3 playoff games. The real issue here is Bengals fans are an extremely football uneducated group. Much like the Indianapolis fan base before Peyton turned them all into experts. Many teams would love to have Andy Dalton as a QB. Relax.

  63. Let’s stop pretending that the Bengals reached the playoffs the past three seasons because they were actually good. In 2011, they backed in as a 9-7 team; again, last season, they were a 9-7 team; this season they were 11-5, mainly because of the Ravens’ decline.
    Had Dalton played horrible in the playoffs the past three seasons with a No. 1 or No. 2 seed team around him, there might be cause for concern. The Bengals have been nothing more than a product of parity the past three seasons.
    All you need to know about the Bengals is that Marvin Lewis is 90-90-1 as a head coach.

  64. Setting the bar lower to get the results you want appeases only losers.

    If mediocrity is what you’re after, hang on to Dalton.

  65. Yeah… it’s because the steelers suck (Bengals DESTROYED the steelers in the pivotal 2012 – Week 15 playoff clinching game – knocking the steelers out of contention)…. AND…. the ravens suck (Bengals DESTROYED the ravens to win the AFC North in the pivotal Week 17 playoff clinching game – knocking the ravens out of contention).

    Either Way… the Bengals are better than BOTH the ravens and steelers.

    AFC North Champions

  66. It’s good that new england got that win against Cleveland with that last second BOGUS pass interference penalty to clinch the bye.

  67. Either Way… the Bengals are better than BOTH the ravens and steelers.
    That makes sense, if you forget about the last time they actually played against each other.

  68. Watching Dalton this weekend reminded of the 05 playoff game against the Steelers, I thought that was Kitna out there running around, dropping the ball, looking confused. It was obvious that game was too big for Kitna in 05, and the same for Dalton in ’13 (and ’12, and ’11).

  69. Can’t believe Gruden is getting the attention he is, but I hope he goes. Would like to see someone else work with Dalton and see if they can get better production. At least cut down on the horrible int’s and pick 6’s.

  70. Sorry Cincy. You will catch backlash purely because Jay Gruden signed with the Redskins. The media is gonna come up with all kinds of scandal linked to ” unnamed sources” to sabotage your team…HTTR

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