CINCINNATI – Andy Dalton and the rest of the Bengals took the field for their first training camp practice, applauded by several hundred fans in the metal, temporary bleachers.
Not far away, a couple of fans on a public bridge that overlooks the practice fields were unfurling two white sheets with printed messages.
"Don't Sign Dalton," the first banner said, adding a derogatory comment about the quarterback.
"A.J. to A.J., The Future Is Now," said the other banner.
They were soon taken down, but the sentiment will linger with some fans until the fourth-year quarterback gets the final breakthrough in a so-far stellar career. He not only has to get the Bengals to the playoffs for a fourth straight season — something they've never done — but he has to get them deep into the postseason.
Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL