Report: Mike Brown liked Kaepernick, Jay Gruden wanted Dalton


The Bengals chose Andy Dalton with the 35th pick in the 2011 NFL draft. The 49ers chose Colin Kaepernick with the 36th pick. With the benefit of hindsight, picking Dalton when Kaepernick was on the board looks like a big mistake for the Bengals.

So whose mistake was it? According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, it was a mistake made by Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. The Enquirer reports that Bengals owner Mike Brown was pushing for Kaepernick, but Gruden said Dalton was the better fit for the Bengals’ offense, and so Brown went along with Gruden’s recommendation.

“I like this guy,” Brown said of Kaepernick, according to the report. “He has unusual mobility.”

Gruden replied, “I want Dalton. He fits what I want to do.”

The Cincinnati Enquirer report came out on Sunday morning, hours before Dalton had a terrible game in throwing away the Bengals’ season against the Chargers, and Kaepernick played well in leading the 49ers to a win over the Packers. If Sunday’s games had gone differently, the contrast between Dalton and Kaepernick wouldn’t be as stark.

But after Sunday, that’s probably a pick that Mike Brown wishes he could have back.

72 responses to “Report: Mike Brown liked Kaepernick, Jay Gruden wanted Dalton

  1. .

    One may forget that the Patriots were the owners of pick number 33 in the draft that year and desperately tried to trade out. Any of today’s quarterback hungry teams could have easily acquired their pick and had their choice of the two.


  2. the article was about how Mike Brown learned to trust his coachs not about Andy Dalton. Mike brown said he liked Kapernick better but John Gruden thought Dalton fit his scheme better. It’s one of the few articles I’ve read that doesn’t say something negative about Mike Brown. I hope Mike Brown continues to trust his coaches and let’s them decide whether or not Dalton is their QB. The Chargers were the better team on Sunday, let’s get them next season GO BENGALS!

  3. Here’s the thing; if Gruden didn’t think Kaep would be a good fit for the Bengals offense, then Gruden wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of Kaep’s skillset and he probably wouldn’t be the player he is today with the 9ers.

  4. “Elite” playoff stats…Dalton 0-3 enough said!

    I bet DoctorRustBelt wished they picked Kaepernick…lol. Where’s all your worthless fantasy land stats Rusty??? Why are you hiding?? No sign of him since his beloved Dalton destroyed a great chance for a talent stacked team to win big. Did your redhair rocket qb win you any fantasy games this week?? Stats are for losers… meaningful wins are ALL that matters. P.S. Even know you stopped posting everyone up here knows your reading all these comments calling you out and we all know it’s eating you alive. Take care though…lol

  5. Gruden replied, “I want Dalton, he folds up like a cheap chair when the chips are down. He fits what I want to do.”

  6. Also, say what you will about Dalton not being able to win the big game, but considering the numbers Dalton has put up in this season, and throughout his career overall, you can hardly say that it was a big mistake. You might prefer Kap, but its not like Dalton is on the verge of washing out of the league.

  7. Maybe he is a better fit in Cincinnati. Monday morning quarter backing is easy. Who knows what would have happened if these two QB’s had switched teams.

  8. I would say last season this would’ve been a bigger story.

    Despite the playoff results, CK has definitely not played as well this season.

    I attribute a lot of CK’s success to Harbaugh too. He made Alex Smith look like a stud.

  9. Is Kaepernick touted so highly if his team has an average Defense? The answer is no. The Niners are where they are because their D keeps them in games long enough to let an average (or less) QB score enough points to win.

    Don’t worry, Kaepernick fans. he will be rewarded with a huge cntract, then the team will lose some guys and everyone will be wondering why the team paid Kaepernick so much money. (Joe Flacco anyone?)

    He is more lucky than good. Like I said the other day. Hyde comes up with that pick and GB kicks the last second FG fo the win, how good is Kaepernick then? He has average QB skill, and would be getting put down just like Dalton is today.

    I’d take Dalton over Kaepernick because Dalton does more with less and is just better that Kaepernick.

  10. Dalton has three post season appearances in 3 years and a division title. The guy from San Fran has a wildcard win and a half good year courtesy of Alex Smith. I don’t see your logic.

  11. Hindsight is 20:20, Brown. Dalton was the higher rated prospect in the draft, and no one blinked when he was selected by the Bengals. If you were so convinced about Kaepernick, then you should have forced the selection. Way to throw your OC under the bus!

  12. With all due respect, I think that coaching has a great deal to do with how QBs turn out. Having Jim Harbaugh coaching QBs has been a huge benefit for San Francisco. Alex Smith was considered a bust and a washout until Harbaugh took over.

    Assuming that Kaepernick would have done just as well in Cincinnati, and assuming Dalton would have done just as poorly in San Francisco is faulty reasoning. Maybe Dalton (and Gabbert, Locker and Ponder) just needs better coaching.

  13. this story was in he cincy paper last week – dalton read it and did his best Kap impression – he ran the ball 6 times….too bad he can’t run like kap

  14. Doesn’t really matter. Kaepernick would have been Bunglized too.

    We are never going to win anything until we sacrifice something/someone to appease the football gods over Bo Jackson. The curse lives on.

  15. Dalton had little protection most of the game. If Gruden’s system involves the QB running for his life, he made the wrong choice. Otherwise, I’ll take Dalton. I hope they don’t allow Marvin to ruin another immensely talented group, liked he did with Palmer, Johnson and Co.

  16. I’d take Dalton over Kaepernick because Dalton does more with less and is just better that Kaepernick.

    Most experts are saying the Bungals have the most talent and depth in the NFL. Problems are Dalton and a bad Head Coach. What says the guru of stats Rusty Dr Belt or are you hiding ala Joeflaccomontana ?

  17. Face it Bungles fans, Andy Dalton is the young Tony Romo. He will continue to choke on the big stage. I never seen a team lose their focus and falter like the Bungles did on Sunday. Kaep has and will be the better QB. This is a guy who brought his team to the Super Bowl last year and is picking up where he left off this year. Carolina is weak and Newton has the ability to choke more than Dalton and Romo. Bungles fans just mad that they are done. Go cry somewhere else!

  18. Kaepernick did not have a great season and is surrounded by pro bowlers. Dom Capers makes him look like superman every time they play. Let’s see him do it again vs Panthers LBs.

  19. I’d say we are only a quarter way through the book. Why not wait till we are finished before we draw conclusions? A lot of football to be played with both Q.B.”s still.

  20. Meh, its so hard to say. Jim Harbaugh turned a team that was awful into a contender in 1 year with largely the same roster. Jay Gruden has done wonders in Cinci, but I don’t think he’s as good of a QB coach as Harbaugh. I am always curious to know what WOULD have happened if someone like Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne or even Matt Stafford get drafted by someone like Harbaugh or Andy Reid.

  21. Yeah the Dalton hate is old. Stats aren’t for losers… they are stats. Cold hard ffacts. You all act like the offense has been stacked the entire time Andy has been here. News flash, we just drafted Gio and Eiffert this year. Weird I don’t hear many bashing the O line who had Andy scrambling for his life half the game or the D who let. San Diego Run all over us. Hate to say it, Chargers were just better that day.

  22. hmm – wonder why Gruden wouldn’t agree with him? I mean he had such a stellar record up to that point – Dave Klingler and Akili Smith were just dy-no-mite.

  23. It is what it is, I suppose.

    If Kaepernick doesn’t fit the style of play, there isn’t much sense in trying to jam a square peg through a circular hole. No matter how good Kaep might be, I wouldn’t want Joe Montana running a spread/option attack any more than I would want Michael Vick in his prime being a pure pocket passer.

    Dalton has put up decent numbers, just melts down in the postseason. Regardless of how you feel about Dalton’s long term prospects of getting the Bengals that elusive postseason win, this feels like a non-story

  24. While I respect Dalton as a player, he just doesn’t seem to have that fire to take a team to the next level. Really good regular season play is not enough in the NFL. The problem is that the culture of the club starts from the top. Mike Brown has actually done a good job of loosening up and letting his coaches do the job they need to do, much to his credit, and has been rewarded with a degree of success not seen around here in awhile. But no one thinks Brown cares enough to try to win it all. And Marvin has done more than just about any coach before him in turning around the culture, but he doesn’t seem to have the fire either. Gruden is fine at drawing up plays, but his playcalling leaves a lot to be desired.

    Zimmer seems to be the only one with some fire and you can see that transfer over to the defense. Even losing Atkins and Hall, the defense played great. I think making Zim the head coach would do wonders for this team. It might even be similar to John Gruden replacing Dungy years ago.

    I am fine with giving Dalton and Gruden one more year to get over the hump, but sign AJ to a long term deal NOW and get rid of Marvin.

  25. And Spielman wishes he picked Kaepernick as well… never let the coaches decide who fits or not.. get the best talent available, especially at the QB position. If he’s a five tool player he can fit into any scheme.

  26. Not a Bengals fan, but Dalton did not have a “terrible game”, that’s the media spin characteristically throwing everything into extremes.

    Ah, and now Kaepernick is back to being one of the premiere quarterbacks in the league — possibly an all-time great who’s rewriting how the position is played. Where’s THAT been all season?

    How it looked to me is, after Dalton tried for a first down and fumbled he kind of fell apart. He wasn’t the same guy after that. Up to then, he was solid. The whole team wasn’t playing well in the second half.

    No one knows how Dalton’s career will look when it’s done, but this hysteria reminds me of when Peyton Manning was young. He choked in the playoffs for, what, 5 years? Boomer Esiason declared on TV that Manning would never win a Super Bowl. Everyone laughed that he couldn’t win “the big one.”

    Yeah, Dalton is surely no Manning but my point is more how the media treats athletes, not these two in particular. Dalton needs to learn to shrug it off and keep fighting. But the notion he’s a disaster at quarterback is absurd.

  27. I agree with what people said about drafting for system. Another thing is just the environment they are in. I wonder if Aaron Rodgers been drafted by SF in 2005 instead of Alex Smith if he would have been nearly as successful with how dysfunctional the organization was for a rather long stretch. Alex Smith proved to be very capable when he had proper coaching and a smart coaching staff that could play to his strengths. I do feel Kaepernick benefits from not just the other players around him, but the coaching staff as well. Dalton was a day 1 starter for the Bengals, Kaepernick waited over a year before starting. I remember in his 1st pre-season he was TERRIBLE. We will never know but thats what makes sports so much fun.

  28. I love when guys defend Dalton by saying “yeah he lost 3 straight playoff games in horrid fashion but look at his stats! they’re fantastic!”. Stats are for losers. Win a playoff game and maybe those stats mean something. If you can’t win a post season game, what you do during the season means squat in my eyes. However, Mike Brown loves this. He loves it that this team is just good enough to keep hope alive for the next year. The new saying around this town is “we’re going to come out strong next year and win”. They just leave out the part where they are going to lose int he first round of the playoffs. Marvin needs to go. It’s time for a fresh face and fresh system on this team. He has had too many chances and still hasn’t come through.

  29. Like I Have Said For The Past Three Years… it is time to get Andy Dalton REAL #2 and #2 wide receivers (.. and FINALLY admit that A.J. Green has some issues – OF COURSE… better with Green and issues than without) and improve the deficiencies on the O-Line.

    Like I Have Always Said…. undependable and non-explosive jermaine gresham is a liability.

    Andy Dalton needs weapons.
    NOT 5’6″ Andrew Hawkins or the Incredible Disappearing Duo (Jones/Sanu – they are good team players… but… not NFL level #2 – 3 wrs against quality NFL #1-3 corners).

  30. They’re both good-not-great quarterbacks.

    Kaepernick has the benefit of a really good defense and really good running game. Strong arm and fast runner. Is he smart enough to become a great one? Remains to be seen.

    Dalton, on the other hand, is already pretty much the quarterback he’s always going to be, in my opinion. If the Bengals want to advance in the playoffs with him, they need to get better all around him. They’re solid at WR but other than that they can improve.

  31. The franchise is the problem not the draft pick. If the Bengals had drafted Kaepernick and the 49ers had drafted Dalton then Dalton would be the one succeeding.

  32. We needed someone that was nfl ready. Not needing to sit a year. That’s why Dalton was the pick. Kaep I like, but he’s yet to sniff anywhere close to the statistical year(s) Dalton has had. Truth.

  33. riverace19 says:
    Jan 7, 2014 8:43 AM
    Kaepernick did not have a great season and is surrounded by pro bowlers. Dom Capers makes him look like superman every time they play. Let’s see him do it again vs Panthers LBs.
    Last outing Kap had his worst game as a pro and the niners lost by only 1 point to a superb Carolina defense. I wouldnt be as worried this time around

  34. I’m a Niner fan and a Kaep fan, but I don’t see the big deal with Dalton. He had a couple of bad playoff games. He had to make the playoffs three years straight in a tough division to do that. He doesn’t seem to have a great deep ball but he makes plays and has always been a winner. The last thing any NFL team needs is an owner who can’t get out of the way. The Bengals are going in the right direction and I think Dalton will be a big part of that.

  35. This is like when you are playing poker and you fold a 10-8 off suit before the flop. Then it comes out 7-9-J and you sit there saying “crap I should have played that”.

    No. Just, no.

    Dalton and Kaepernick are about the same in quality. Dalton puts up bigger numbers but Kaepernick’s team has done better in the playoffs.

    It bears mentioning that Kaepernick’s teams that won those playoff games were also significantly better than Dalton’s teams, and playing those games in a weaker conference.

  36. Why does this article come now? Not when Dalton was taking the team to playoffs in his rookie year or before that. This is really a moot point at this time. When you point fingers, thats not good for the organization at any level.

    Having said, I think Dalton has reached his ceiling. He need to have a very good team around him to win the superbowl. He cannot carry the team my himself. He had a good game against SD except the interception, but great QBs when they get in rhythm they would take the team and Dalton didn’t do that on any of his playoff games. Dalton was too inconsistent this year.

  37. As Bill Parcells says you are what your record says you are and Deion Sanders said it best : Dalton can’t seize the moment- hell I could pass for 3000 + yards under these rules – if the name of the game is winning championships as Baltimore and Pittsburgh have versus making money ( Cincinnati ) then do you really want Dalton ?
    Kap seems light years ahead in the mental make up needed to win – and you can’t coach that

  38. Kap wasn’t ready to play coming out and the bengles were gonna start whoever they picked. It worked out the way it was supposed to.

  39. theytukrjobs

    And significantly better coached. Dalton throwing 51 times like he’s Elway isn’t a recipe for success. And while it’s his fault we loss because he’s our QB, coaches certainly didn’t put him in a good position to win. Just like in that final Baltimore game when he threw 4 INT3 of those came when we were up by 10. Why was he still throwing so much when we should have been eating at the clock? That’s why Gruden must go! He needs a gunslinger to coach. Someone who can succeed with a pass heavy offense. That’s a lot to ask from a 2nd round pick from TCU.

  40. wishingtonredslur says:
    Jan 7, 2014 8:13 AM

    Dalton has three post season appearances in 3 years and a division title. The guy from San Fran has a wildcard win and a half good year courtesy of Alex Smith. I don’t see your logic.

    Actually, Dalton is 0-3 in the playoffs, while CK is 3-1. This logic makes perfect sense.

  41. Haha, Rustbaelt comes out hiding to complain about Dalton not having a #2 receiver! Haha, Marvin Jones had 8 catches for 130! More Bungle excuses.

    The Steelers are primed to win this division next year. Bungle fans have seen this scenario played out before. The Ravens are trending downward with bloated salaries and FA departures. No Jacoby Jones… The Steelers will Top 15 pick in each round and will get three round 3 comp picks. WE’RE COMING!!

  42. yeah, i wanted Kaep too, but my vikes chose CP7 24 picks before Kaep was selected…you tell me who is the winner in that scenario.

  43. Seems like Gruden the Guru of quarterbacks has been picking the wrong quarterbacks his whole career.

  44. What a blown pick, Kaep was sitting on the board as one of my top 10 players in the draft and they go with a guy who doesn’t even deserve to be taken in the 2nd round. That was such a colossal mistake. I can’t believe the Owner figured out who the better QB was when his OC couldn’t. If you can’t scout, then you can’t win, and the Owner apparently hired somebody who doesn’t know how to identify talent.

  45. jtbsteeler says:The Steelers will Top 15 pick in each round and will get three round 3 comp picks

    You are completely delusional if you think the Steelers are getting 3 3rd round comp picks. Who of any significance did they lose in Free Agency? Since players who are released don’t count towards comp picks, you’ll be amazingly lucky to get ONE 3rd round comp pick, let alone the three you idiotically think you’re getting.

  46. I had the good fortune of being hospitalized for a kidney stone on Friday afternoon (released Saturday night).

    The Roxicet every 6 hours from Saturday night thru Monday (while waiting for the stone to pass) made the loss a lot less traumatic.

    I tried to post early in the game… but… passed out around the time the Bengals offensive line passed out.

  47. lurch61 says:
    Jan 7, 2014 9:34 AM

    riverace19 says:
    Jan 7, 2014 8:43 AM
    Kaepernick did not have a great season and is surrounded by pro bowlers. Dom Capers makes him look like superman every time they play. Let’s see him do it again vs Panthers LBs.
    Last outing Kap had his worst game as a pro and the niners lost by only 1 point to a superb Carolina defense. I wouldnt be as worried this time around
    Sure about that? Seems to me that his game in Carolina was easily better than the two pathetic excuses for performances he had in Seattle. Here is the truth.

    *Colin Kaepernick isn’t a great QB, he’s really not even good. What he is, is a phenomenal athlete on a team with a stellar defense. But judging purely from a QB grading perspective, he is a failure. As soon as his legs get to the point where he loses a step, maybe two, he will be done quarterbacking in the NFL*

  48. Both Dalton and Kaep still haven’t won a Super Bowl. When either of them do, then we will talk who was the better choice. Ryan puts up bigger stats that Flacco, but who is the Super Bowl MVP?

  49. Didn’t Dalton have 3 INTS and a fumble? In a playoff game that is considered “Terrible”hell,,in a regular game its terrible so no, it wasn’t the MEDIA putting wasn’t Marvin Lewis..that was all him. I’m sure if Frisco didn’t make it Ole Mike Brown wouldn’t have said diddly

  50. rublestiltzkin

    Does being this stupid cause your brain to hurt as much as it does my eyes to read anything you say?

    At some point you haters are gonna have to give him his props. Kap already has more playoff road wins then Montana or Young and could be the playoff all time leading rusher for a QB by the time the playoffs end. He’s got some growing to do but his stats in the four post season games he’s played are as good as anyones.

  51. The way I see it. Dalton was more NFL ready to start from day one than Kaep. But Kaep had the higher ceiling because he’s more physically gifted than Dalton.

    It depends on your cup of tea.

  52. Kaepernick is not yet a consistent passer but seems to play very well when the chips are down, both running and throwing. He hasn’t even played two full seasons worth of games yet, and didn’t play a pro-style offense in college, so it is reasonable to think there is potential to improve. Alex Smith has come a really long way in 8 years. Maybe a lot of young QBs are going to get a lot better including Dalton. Just give them a chance to grow and improve, like Alex got.

  53. Already arguing about Kaepernick and Dalton? I’d say both have many years to go before that debate is worth having.

    Seriously you guys are too early for these two – I’m still scratching my head over my beloved Steelers and them taking a pass on a local boy some years ago, he might have worked out pretty well for the team. Some guy named Marino.

    * mitchitized kneels, bangs head on sidewalk

  54. Kaepernick is the most dangerous dual threat in the league, Dalton is a face, this comparison debate is hysterical, this isn’t even a conversation.

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