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Why Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals Rookie, Should Be AFC North MVP

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI - DECEMBER 18:  Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks to pass in the second half of the game against the St. Louis Rams on December 18, 2011 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. The Bengals defeated the Rams 20-13. (Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)
Whitney Curtis/Getty Images
Ezri SilverCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2011

There are those who look at statistics and numbers as the easiest ways to measure performance.  Yet, it's the intangibles that end up making or breaking a team. 

Just look at Carson Palmer, a known under-achiever who brings to mind the movie Rudy. You know, the part when Vince Vaughn's character was maligned for lacking even half the heart of Rudiger.

(This, of course, was pre-SEC violations with bathroom water that was passed off as a thirst-quencher eclipsing Gatorade). 

Palmer did much of nothing for his first three years at USC under current Seattle Seahawks' coach Pete Carroll.  Maybe Chad Ochocinco is a better example for Bengals' fans. Ochocinco is known for his "indifference towards his four children."

Enter Andy Dalton from TCU in the second round.  What was his draw as a talented athlete at an up-and-coming program? 

Football insanity and religious truism in the bible belt of Texas had produced yet another bread and butter, All-American boy. 

Colt McCoy was struggling up in Cleveland after playing for a far more accomplished program at the University of Texas. What was to say that Dalton would fare even half as well coming from a program that was unfairly categorized as subpar?

Enter a new offensive coordinator. Jay "Jon's Younger Brother" Gruden has been given the task of being a prime-time offensive coordinator while building an offense from scratch.  Picking and starting a rookie quarterback certainly is no enviable task, but Gruden took it on with full gusto.

So what are Dalton's intangibles? 

He is a leader who puts the team first and spends his time studying, learning and adapting.  A successful general learns by observing and participating. 

Dalton possesses these qualities in spades.

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