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Chris Crocker feels Andy Dalton could benefit from mentor in backup role

Wild Card Playoffs - San Diego Chargers v Cincinnati Bengals

of the San Diego Chargers during the NFL wild card playoffs game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on January 5, 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Andy Lyons

In three seasons as starting quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals, Andy Dalton has led the team to three straight playoff appearances and an AFC North division crown.

However, all three playoff appearances have come up empty as the Bengals are still searching for their first playoff victory since 1990.

Dalton has been a solid starter for Cincinnati since taking over the starting job as a rookie in 2011. Dalton was named to the Pro Bowl as a rookie and has improved statistically each season. Dalton threw for over 4,000 yards with 33 touchdowns in helping the Bengals win their division for the first time since 2009.

However, a dismal playoff showing against the San Diego Chargers that including three turnovers by Dalton (two interceptions and a fumble) left the Bengals once again watching the playoffs after the opening weekend.

Former Bengals safety, and current free agent, Chris Crocker feels a mentor in the backup quarterback role would be beneficial for Dalton to learn from in order to take the next step.

“That’s something that really think Andy is missing is that sort of mentor,” Crocker said, in an interview with Alex Marvez and Zig Fracassi on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “Coaches can tell you one thing and they can say what they’ve seen and situations they’ve been in, but it’s different coming from an older guy. At the least I’d like to see that happen for him to have a real mentor.”

Dalton hasn’t had that long-time veteran starter to learn from during his three years in Cincinnati. Bruce Gradkowski was the backup for Dalton’s first two seasons with Josh Johnson serving in the reserve role last season. The pair have just 25 starts combined in parts of 14 seasons in the league.

Crocker said he still feels the Bengals are Dalton’s team and he can be successful. He just thinks a veteran presence could help Dalton improve by having an experienced set of eyes to bounce ideas off of.

“I definitely would like to see an older veteran sitting behind Andy helping him out,” Crocker said.