Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has said the MLB All-Star game was the point which his quarterback Andy Dalton realised he needed to change his game and fast.
Prior to this season, the Red Rifle had managed to achieve four playoff berths in four seasons in the league. Not a bad accomplishment, but when he walked out onto the field during the MLS All-Star game for a celebrity softball match during this past summer in Cincinnati, he received a chorus of boos.
Dalton said this didn't bother him one bit, and it was clearly shown as he hit a home run in that game. But his offensive coordinator thinks that day was the 'turning point' for the quarterback at the Bengals.
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He said, according to Peter King of TheMMQB.com: “I’m not going to tell you it didn’t bother him. It did. When you have the success he has had — four seasons in the league, four times in the playoffs — getting booed in your own city, that has to hurt a bit.
"But he was able to hit one over the fence for a home run. And he flipped the bat. His message was sort of, ‘You might not like me now, but you’re going to love me later.'”
He's right were going to love him later. Right now actually, as the Bengals currently sit on a 4-0 record in the AFC North thanks to his efforts. The Red Rifle has so far thrown for 1,187 yards, completing 78 of his 116 attempts, scoring nine touchdowns, averaging 10.2 yards per play and has also only been intercepted once.
This looks like it could be a recording-breaking year for the 27-year-old, so long as his form continues. A tough test will come this weekend when the Bengals host the Seattle Seahawks, who have one of the toughest defenses in the league.
So long as his good form continues, we shouldn't be hearing any more boos ringing round Cincinnati's sports venues for Dalton anytime soon.