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Dalton Receives Vote of Confidence, Browns Keep Searching for New Coach

With the dust slowing starting to settle for the Cincinnati Bengals, much of the finger pointing for Sunday’s 27-10 loss against the San Diego Chargers has come against quarterback Andy Dalton. He showed that third time is the charm as he again failed to lead his team to a playoff win. This game ended with Dalton going 29 of 51 passes, 334 yards, one touchdown, two picks and a lost fumble.

Many would say Dalton, well, played like Dalton.

Andy Dalton

Andy Dalton

Questions had been swirling on Monday whether he would return as the Bengal’s 2014 starter. Dalton reportedly had been assured by his head coach Marvin Lewis, this he would not lose the starting role. He said of the conversation via the Cincinnati Enquirer, “I expect to be here for a long time. I’m hoping that is the case. It’s great to hear that from your coach and that’s what I wanted to hear. He said I am the guy he believes in and he believes that I can get us over the next hump.”

Perhaps the guy Lewis believes in includes Good Andy Dalton from the regular season whose 2013 numbers included career highs for touchdown passes, passing yards, and yards per attempt. But he did have a career-high 20 picks.

Since entering the league in 2011, Dalton has helped the Bengals steadily increase their wins every season. They went from nine (2011), 10 (2012) and then 11 (2013).

And here’s what many people probably forgot after Sunday’s implosion: Dalton shares a statistic with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Yep, they both started their NFL careers with 3,000-plus yards during their first three years. They are the only league quarterbacks to have ever done this.

But before Dalton can continue in the Manning conversation, he’ll need to change his postseason history.

Meanwhile, as the talk has focused on Dalton, what about Lewis? He has a year remaining on his contract and it also appears his job is safe. After it had been noted that Bengals owner Mike Brown is “reluctant to change,” the question had been posed if this offered a unique situation for Lewis. The coach responded via the Associated Press, “I don’t think the situation is unique at all. I think if the other places were in the situation — they lost a playoff game after winning the division — their head coach would be in place. Don’t you?”

Vegas agrees and says Lewis will be back next season (-200 yes, +150 no).

While his team didn’t lose in the first round of the playoffs, Cleveland Browns rookie coach Rob Chudzinski did work for a team that believes in change as he only lasted one year.

The hunt for a new Browns coach continues and as of Monday, the team had already interviewed three league assistants; they have also reportedly asked permission to interview a college coach, reported ESPN. The revolving door has included New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. He confirmed the rumor and said via the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “We met and that’s about all there is at this point. Nothing, nothing further.”

Other names in the mix have included interviews last week with Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase has also been rumored as a possible interviewee but if this is true, he’ll wait until his team’s season is over.

Vegas doesn’t see this ending anytime soon as the Broncos sit at 13/5 to win the 2014 Super Bowl.

In addition, Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz has also been mentioned as well as Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops as a possible contender but these rumors were put to rest on Monday.

The Browns reportedly have an interest in other college coaches including Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin.


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