Andy Dalton joined the Carolina Panthers in the offseason knowing that a starting role on the team was unlikely, but he appears to be primed for the backup position as the team heads into training camp.
The Panthers selected Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, and Dalton will likely bring veteran leadership, but he believes he could still be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
In fact, he delivered the same type of message Cam Newton did earlier this offseason.
“I view myself as a starter in this league. I don’t think there are 32 guys better than me,” Dalton told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“But this is the situation I am in, and I understand that. As soon as I don’t think I’m one of the best 32, or a little lower, I’ll be watching football on TV.”
Dalton felt comfortable taking that role in Carolina in large part because of the coaches he’d be joining.
“I am in a really, really good situation here; Frank Reich played til he was 38. He was a career backup,” Dalton said. “He understands the continuity you want in a (quarterback) room. Josh McCown played until he was 40. Josh was my friend for the last 10 years, and now he’s my coach.”
For the first nine years of his career, Andy Dalton was locked in as the starter for the Cincinnati Bengals. A steep decline toward the end of his tenure led to the Bengals landing the No. 1 overall pick in the draft the same year Joe Burrow was coming out of college which meant Dalton’s time in Cincinnati was ending.
Since then, Dalton has bounced around as a backup and part-time starter. Now, he is heading into a year where he will be 36 going into his 13th season.
Dalton started 14 games for the New Orleans Saints last season, throwing for 2,871 yards and 18 touchdowns. The Saints finished 7-10 in 2022 and missed the playoffs.
He is a three-time Pro Bowler and will likely be a crucial part of Young’s development as a quarterback next season.
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