Bengals draft Alabama QB McCarron in 5th round

CINCINNATI — So it’ll be A.J.-to-A.J. in Cincinnati, but mostly during practice. And even then, not all that much.

The Bengals got yet another quarterback to back up Andy Dalton on Saturday, this one with a history of winning big games. They took Alabama’s A.J. McCarron in the fifth round when the Heisman Trophy runner-up was still available for the 164th overall pick.

McCarron’s history of winning national championships was enticing to the Bengals, who haven’t been able to win with Dalton in the playoffs. Still, the pecking order is set for the foreseeable future.

“I’m confident in myself but at the same time, I know Andy’s the QB out there and I respect that,” McCarron said on a conference all. “All I want to do is go in and help us in whatever way I can.

“If that means me holding the clipboard for a couple of years and giving Andy reports during the week and watching film with him and helping him in any way I can, I’m just ready to do it.”

Dalton led the Bengals to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons, then had some of his worst games. The Bengals have lost their opening-round game all three seasons, falling to 0-5 in the postseason under coach Marvin Lewis.

The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since 1990, matching the sixth-longest streak of postseason futility in NFL history.

Although Dalton is entering the final year on his deal, he and the Bengals are discussing an extension and the club has been unwavering in its support for him as the franchise’s leader. Cincinnati hasn’t had as much success keeping a backup.

The Bengals signed Jason Campbell in the offseason, their third different backup in the last three years. They still have Josh Johnson, who was No. 2 last season. Dalton had expected them to draft a backup in a later round and try to develop him.

Initially, there’s not much of a commitment to McCarron.

“We tell all our quarterbacks here: You may not start here, but if you come here and you grow and you prepare and you learn, you may have to play someplace else in your career — we never know how that’s going to unfold — but what we’re going to do is create an environment where our quarterbacks can be the best that they can be,” offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said.

With Dalton getting most of the plays in practice and Campbell trying to grow into the backup role, McCarron will get his best chance to throw to A.J. Green and the other receivers before and after practice.

The Bengals think that McCarron’s competitiveness will help the other quarterbacks in some ways.

“The bar in his mind is set really high and I know he felt this is a long way down the road for him to get picked,” quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese said. “He’s happy being picked, but he saw himself in a much higher light in regard to how the NFL saw him.

“I just know he sees himself as guy that’s a starter, that’s on top of the heap, that he can do all those things. And I love that about him.”

The Bengals moved up 12 spots in the fourth round — only the third time in franchise history that they’ve traded up in a round — to get center Russell Bodine from North Carolina. He’ll compete right away for the start job left open when Kyle Cook was released.

Cincinnati chose Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard, LSU running back Jeremy Hill, West Virginia defensive end Will Clarke, Bodine and McCarron with their first five picks.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Jurrangelo Cijntje pitches 2022 MLB Draft Combine held at Petco Park on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 in San Diego, CA. Cijntje, from Mississippi State, was the Mariners’ first pick in the 2024 MLB Draft. (Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Mariners lean on college players, pitchers with ‘power arms’ as MLB draft concludes

Seattle’s 20 selections include 19 college players and one high schooler.

Jurrangelo Cijntje pitches at the 2022 MLB Draft Combine held at Petco Park on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 in San Diego, CA. Cijntje, from Mississippi State, was the Mariners’ first pick in the 2024 MLB Draft. (Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Mariners go college route on second day of draft, take 2-way player Grant Knipp

Seattle chose youth and selected eight college players.

Tyler Cronk performs in the slam dunk competition during the Everett 3on3 tournament in downtown Everett, Washington on Sunday, July 14, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Recap, videos and photos: 2024 Everett 3on3 was another slam dunk

Everett alumni place second; skills contests, food trucks and vendors were also in full swing this past weekend to celebrate the basketball tournament’s third edition.

View of T-Mobile Park from the Press Club. Ben Ray / The Reporter
T-Mobile Park at 25: Mariners fans share favorite ballpark memories

The venue turned a quarter of a century on Monday

Kamiak High School’s Victor Sanchez Hernandez Jr. puts on a University of Washington football helmet. Sanchez Hernandez, a three-star defensive end who’s heading into his senior season, committed to the Huskies. (Photo courtesy of Victory Sanchez Hernandez Jr.)
High school football recruiting: Here’s how Washington’s 2025, 2026 classes are shaping up

TNT sports reporter Jon Manley spoke with national recruiting editor Brandon Huffman.

From left to right: Arlington’s Kierra Reese and Stanwood’s Ellalee Wortham, Ava DePew and Presley Harris. The foursome, called “Awesome Mix 12,” won the High School Elite division in 2023 and returned to Spokane Hoopfest this year to claim the Women’s Competitive division title. (Photo courtesy Sarah Reese)
Winter Wesco rivals, summer hoopfest champions

Arlington’s Kierra Reese and Stanwood’s Ava DePew, Presley Harris and Ellalee Wortham teamed up to win back-to-back 3-on-3 titles.

Louisville guard Hailey Van Lith found little room between South Carolinas Destiny Littleton (11) and Laeticia Amihere. (Carlos Gonzalez / Star Tribune)
These Olympians in the 2024 Paris Games have ties to Washington state

Nineteen athletes competing in France are from The Evergreen State.

Once an MLB bust, Mill Creek’s Travis Snider now hopes to change toxic culture

When Snider made it to the big leagues in 2008 at just 20 he was one of the game’s top prospects, touted as the Blue Jays’ next great hitter.

UW Husky rowing will be well-represented in Paris at 2024 Olympics

The U.S. eight competes in heat racing on July 29 with finals on Aug. 3.

Golden Knights center Chandler Stephenson (20) skates with the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Flames at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Chandler Stephenson’s deal about broader Kraken goals rather than dollar value

The former Golden Knights centerman signed a seven-year deal for $6.25 million with Seattle last week.

Seattle Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh (29) celebrates his two-run home run with a trident as he high fives teammates during the first inning against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, in Arlington, Texas. (Elías Valverde II / Tribune News Service)
Statistics show just how terrible Mariners’ offense has been | Analysis

Seattle leads the AL West, but situational hitting has been a setback.

Chandler Fry makes a short birdie putt on Hole 6 on Kayak Point Disc Golf Resort’s Red Course. Fry is a professional from Olympia, Wash., and he has tallied 31 career wins. He will be one of the players in this year’s Mixed Pro Open (MPO) division. (Photo courtesy Andy Jaynes)
Disc golf tournament to bring hundreds of competitors to Kayak Point

The fourth annual Kayak Point Open will feature some of the best players in the state and the region this weekend.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.