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Marvin Lewis thinks Andy Dalton can start right away

Andy Dalton, Jordan Jones, Dontay Moch

Cincinnati Bengals second round draft pick Andy Dalton, and his fiancee Jordan Jones, left, pose for a picture being taken by the Bengals third round draft pick Dontay Moch, right, after an NFL football news conference, Saturday, April 30, 2011, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/David Kohl)


The next step at quarterback for the Bengals is to decide whether they need another veteran quarterback to pair with Andy Dalton, considering Carson Palmer’s future up in the air.

Coach Marvin Lewis said he was unsure if they would go after anyone in free agency, whenever it arrives.

“I don’t think there’s an exact need. I feel really good about the guy we were able to draft,” Lewis said via the team’s website. “If he ends up being the starter as a rookie, I think he can do that.”

That’s a lot to put on a second round quarterback from TCU, but Dalton sounds confident he can pull it off.

“Everybody says that [Palmer] is not coming back, but I can’t worry about that,” Dalton said. “I just have to come in and learn as much as I can as quickly as I can, and put myself in a position to be successful when I get the opportunity.

“Obviously, everyone knows about the current situation with Carson Palmer. As far as I know, it’s open [competition]. We’re trying to figure out who will be the guy, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Dalton chose the number 14, the same jersey Ken Anderson used to wear. He was introduced with A.J. Green as the Bengals looked to a new era. Green said all the right things, with Lewis calling him a “new breed” of receiver.

“I don’t do reality TV,” Green said.