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Buying time: Cincinnati Bengals coach stops quarterback watch

By
Alex Butler
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) shakes hands with Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) after defeating the Bengals 26-10 in their NFL Wild Card game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Jan. 4, 2015. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) shakes hands with Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) after defeating the Bengals 26-10 in their NFL Wild Card game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Jan. 4, 2015. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

CINCINNATI, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Marvin Lewis doesn't have "time to waste time with another quarterback" in Cincinnati. Lewis gave an exclusive interview with Bengals.com and the Cincinnati Enquirer, on Wednesday during a practice for the Reeses Senior Bowl, backing quarterback Andy Dalton.

"Fortunately, somehow I've got the right little thing on my shoulder that says, 'Don't get into a quarterback controversy,'" Lewis told Bengals.com reporter Jeff Hobson. "That's worked from Jon to Carson to Andy. It's helped us have the success we've had, and those guys have been good players, productive players. Even when they've left out of here they've been productive. It works.

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"We have no problem with Andy Dalton as our quarterback. We don't have time to waste time with another QB. To not continue to press forward and get Andy better and to get whoever the backup quarterbacks are better."

Dalton and the Bengals were bounced from the playoffs in the first round for the fourth consecutive season. Dalton, who made the Pro Bowl as a seventh alternate, had a career-best 65.2 percent completion percentage this season. The four-year veteran has passed for 99 career touchdowns, 66 interceptions, and has a career quarterback rating of 85.2. But in the playoffs, Dalton has thrown just one touchdown, has six interceptions, and owns a 57.8 quarterback rating.

Dalton ranked 20th in the NFL with 7.06 yards per attempt, while his 83.5 passer rating this season was good for 25th, behind Shaun Hill, Austin Davis, Kyle Orton and Mark Sanchez, according to NFL.com's Marc Sessler.

The TCU product has a 39-23-1 record as a starter. Carson Palmer had a 46-51 record in his seven-year career with the Bengals. Jon Kitna had an 18-28 record as a starter in his five-year Bengals career. Dalton won 41 games in four seasons at TCU. Dalton threw the fewest passes (481) of his career and played without All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green for five games and missed Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert this season.

Free agent Jason Campbell and A.J. McCarron are the current backups to Dalton, and Lewis doesn't plan on adding anyone to push his quarterback.

"The quarterback competition: Where has it worked? It doesn't get you wins," Lewis told the Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Dehner Jr.

"There would only be about 25 teams that would take him in a heartbeat," Lewis said.

The Bengals and Dalton agreed to a six-year, $115 million contract on Aug. 4. Dalton is fully guaranteed $17 million in 2014 and will make $22 million by February. Dalton received a $12 million signing bonus and a $5 million roster bonus to go along with his $986,000 base salary, giving him $18 million this season. But as Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported in August, Dalton's deal is for $25 million during the first two years and then would be year to year following those seasons.

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