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Red hair a red flag for Andy Dalton?

Andy Dalton

** CORRECTS YEAR OF PHOTO ** TCU quarterback Andy Dalton is welcomed by fans in Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011. TCU beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game Saturday. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)


From the “Now I’ve heard everything” department: An NFL coach says he’s concerned about whether TCU quarterback Andy Dalton can lead an NFL team -- not because of the content of his character but because of the color of his hair.

Peter King’s story in this week’s Sports Illustrated about the way teams scrutinize quarterbacks concludes with that detail: An unnamed coach couldn’t think of any great read-headed quarterbacks and admitted to thinking that Dalton, a redhead, might be lacking something that quarterbacks need.

“Has there ever been a red-headed quarterback in the NFL who’s really done well?” the coach asked. “It sounds idiotic, but is there any way that could be a factor? We’ve wondered.”

The coach is right: It does sound idiotic, like something Eric Cartman would have suggested in the South Park episode “Ginger Kids.”

But it just goes to show how intense the scrutiny of players can get in the days leading up to the draft. If coaches are looking at hair color, they’re looking at everything.