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Jay Gruden having “hard time” hiding love for Dalton

Rose Bowl Game - Wisconsin v TCU

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the TCU Horned Frogs is interviewed by reporter Erin Andrews after defeating the Wisconsin Badgers 21-19 in the 97th Rose Bowl game on January 1, 2011 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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As the draft creeps even closer, the connections between specific players and teams are only going to grow.

One connection picking up steam of late according to’s Peter King is Cincinnati and TCU QB Andy Dalton.

“It’s getting very hard for [Bengals offensive coordinator] Jay Gruden to hide how much he loves Andy Dalton,” one quarterback coach told King.

The Bengals have met with Dalton in some form or fashion five times. Dalton figures to be available when the Bengals choose early in the second round, but there has been speculation he could go higher.

Perhaps the Bengals are just trying to convince everyone they won’t go quarterback at No. 4 overall. We have a feeling they see more value from a wideout or defensive player there, with a quarterback pick like Dalton in the second round.