Former Horned Frog Dalton comes ‘home’ for preseason

Posted Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

The last time Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton played at AT&T Stadium he was wearing No. 14 for TCU and leading the Horned Frogs to a season-opening win.

Dalton, whose Bengals lost to the Dallas Cowboys 24-18 in a preseason game Saturday night at AT&T Stadium, had better games in his TCU career, but his three-touchdowns performance were key to the Frogs’ 30-21 win over Oregon State in 2010.

That victory was the first step on TCU’s magical path to an undefeated Rose Bowl-winning season.

Dalton, who lives in Fort Worth, is in his third year as the Bengals’ starter. He’s trying to lead Cincinnati back to the playoffs for the third consecutive season, something the organization has never done.

Postseason berths at TCU were never an issue for Dalton, who finished his Frogs career with a 44-8 record. He was 3-1 in bowl games, including a college career-crowning 21-19 win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2011.

He’s played several times in Houston, but Saturday was the first time he’s played an NFL game so close to his TCU roots.

“It’s fun,” Dalton said. “I had a lot family and friends here. I got to go home to my house and hang out a little bit.”

Despite his success at TCU, NFL scouts weren’t exactly busting down Dalton’s door. He wasn’t flashy, but he won. That’s what attracted the Bengals, who selected him early in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He became the first Bengals quarterback to take his team to the playoffs in his first two seasons.

He’s 19-13 as a starter, the best winning percentage for a Bengals quarterback with 10 or more starts. He became the first rookie quarterback to start every game in a 16-game NFL season.

Dalton’s professional success is starting to make him a star. His fame has risen thanks to HBO’s Hard Knocks, which followed the Bengals’ training camp. TCU fans recognize Dalton’s soft-spoken, likeable presence on the show, which has shown him checking on the health of his teammates in the training room. Last week’s episode showed him offering a teammate some pregame floss because “You never know when the camera will see your smile.”

He pulled a floss stick out of his pocket after Saturday’s game to show it wasn’t a bit. Adjusting to the all-access film crew has been interesting, though, even for the reserved Dalton.

“You just never know what’s going to be on there and what they’re getting,” he said. “We could be having a conversation and a boom mic pops in out of nowhere. You have to be conscious with what you’re saying. You have no idea what they’re going to focus on.”

A recently released Pepsi commercial with Dalton trying to sell fans on a fictitious Bengal-smelling fragrance shows his comedic side. He even ad-libbed a line — “Oh, do you want me to spray it again?” — that made it into the commercial.

“I thought it was fun and turned out well,” he said. “I was a little nervous at first when they said something about a perfume commercial.”

On Saturday, Dalton completed 12 of 16 passes for 113 yards and an interception during almost three quarters.

It wasn’t his best game, but it’s only preseason. When the real games begin in Chicago against the Bears on Sept. 8, expectations will be high among Bengals fans for another winning year, perhaps with a deep playoff run.

As TCU fans can attest, they’ve got the right guy to do it.

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Sunday, April 20Full Scoreboard
Toronto0Bottom 1st | Box
Cleveland0@theBallpark | TV: SNET, STO
LA Angels1Top 1st | Box
Detroit0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-W, FSN-DET
Seattle0Bottom 1st | Box
Miami0@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-NW, FSN-FL
Atlanta0Top 1st | Box
NY Mets0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-S, WPIX
Milwaukee 4/20 1:35 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FSN-WI, ROOT-PIT
St. Louis 4/20 1:35 PM ET
Washington TV: MLB Net, FSN-MW, MASN
NY Yankees 4/20 1:40 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: MLB Net, YES, Sun Sports
Minnesota 4/20 2:10 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FSN-N, FSN-KC
Cincinnati 4/20 2:20 PM ET
Chicago Cubs TV: FSN-OH, WCIU
Chicago WSox 4/20 3:05 PM ET
Texas TV: CSN-CHI, FSN-SW
Houston 4/20 4:05 PM ET
Oakland TV: CSN-HOU, CSN-CA
Philadelphia 4/20 4:10 PM ET
Colorado TV: CSN-PHI, ROOT-RM
Arizona 4/20 4:10 PM ET
Los Angeles TV: FSN-AZ, SportsNet LA
San Francisco 4/20 4:10 PM ET
San Diego TV: CSN-BA, FSN-SD
Baltimore 4/20 7:05 PM ET
Boston TV: ESPN, MASN
Full Scoreboard
Sunday, April 20Full Scoreboard
Dallas21st Qtr 6:54 | Box
San Antonio9TV: TNT, FSN-SW, KTXA
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Charlotte 4/20 3:30 PM ET
Miami TV: ABC
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Washington 4/20 7:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: TNT, CSN-WAS, CHI
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Portland 4/20 9:30 PM ET
Houston TV: TNT, CSN-HOU
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Full Scoreboard
Full Scoreboard
No games this week
Full Scoreboard
Sunday, April 20Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia12nd Prd | Box
NY Rangers2TV: NBC, TSN
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. New York leads series, 1-0.
Detroit 4/20 3:00 PM ET
Boston TV: NBC, TSN, RDS
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Detroit leads series, 1-0.
Tampa Bay 4/20 7:00 PM ET
Montreal TV: NBCSN, CBC, RDS, Sun
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Three. Montreal leads series, 2-0.
Los Angeles 4/20 10:00 PM ET
San Jose TV: NBCSN, CBC, FSN-W
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. San Jose leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard