Bengals beat writers Paul Dehner Jr. and Jim Owczarski update from Paul Brown Stadium in the aftermath of the Bengals non-trade of AJ McCarron to the Cleveland Browns.
Sam Greene/The Enquirer
The Walkthru is a daily look at the Bengals, your questions and whatever else spills from the brains of beat writers Paul Dehner Jr. and Jim Owczarski. You can follow them on Twitter (@pauldehnerjr, @JimOwczarski), Instagram (@enqbengals) as well as Enquirer Sports on Facebook for behind the scenes and breaking news.
Coming off a chilly walk through on the turf inside Paul Brown Stadium, Andy Dalton put AJ McCarron in a headlock and pulled him into the press conference room in the hallway just outside of the Cincinnati Bengals locker room.
“Who do you want?” Dalton quipped, looking over the television cameras and a few reporters waiting for his weekly press conference, smiling as McCarron sheepishly grinned.
Dalton let him go and pulled up a chair to field questions, but the room was a bit emptier than usual. Largely because Dalton was right – the horde wanted to talk to the backup quarterback who was almost a Cleveland Brown.
The locker room was largely empty during the initial moments of media availability Wednesday, perhaps in deference for McCarron, a well-liked and respected teammate who everyone knew was going to have to field questions he didn’t have answers to.
Questions about paperwork, missed e-mails, clock management and what could have been.
“That’s a big crowd,” said one teammate, shaking his head.
Another looked over and smiled.
“He’s a quarterback. He’s built for it.”
I agreed. But, still, right? It’s a lot to go through?
“He’ll be all right.”
All the way at the other end of the locker room, Adam Jones took a peek through the couple television cameras trained on him to see McCarron was still fielding questions.
“Yeah, we’ve just been messing with him,” Jones said. “It’s funny. ‘It’s the two-minute warning and you missed the pass AJ.’”
Jones gave his joke a beat.
“We all love AJ as a person,” he continued. “We know what type of person he is as far as a leader and a quarterback. I’m happy he’s staying here.
“At least for the rest of the year.”
Even McCarron was able to smile about it, though the emotional toll of the previous 19 hours or so was evident on his face.
“I have some really good friends in here,” he said. “One of my best friends is probably Pac. And ‘Jo’ (Brandon LaFell), Tez (Vontaze Burfict), Quezy (Darqueze Dennard). I had Tez tell me they would’ve been (franchise) tagging me if I would have played against them.
“I just stuck up both arms in a muscle form and told him, ‘Come get some.’ I’m just blessed. I’m not angry about anything. I’m just enjoying the whole process.”
Other reactions to the Browns Bungle of 2017
The national reaction to this botched trade ran a similar course save for one place – the Browns ownership offices, who Pro Football Talk reported was less than pleased with the whole thing.
But I’m all about keeping it light, so here are a handful of my favorites in a long list of mentions:
Everyone was confused …
Yeah … This was one of the more Walkthru appropriate descriptions …
This was the consensus among those realizing the haul that was lost …
And there were more than a few of these …
Television was just as hilarious.
This from ESPN’s Michael Smith:
And here is FOX Sports Ohio anchor Bruce Drennan learning about the failed trade live on air:
No one does, Bruce. No one does.
In case you missed it
Bengals new video of the day
It was Halloween for the last Beyond The Stripes, and we all decided to have some fun with the costumes.
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Nick Vigil on Beyond The Stripes with Paul Daugherty, Paul Dehner Jr., Jim Owczarski and Lindsay Patterson.
Bengals old video of the day
Around the division
Cleveland: OK, the Browns did get some good news.
I think most everyone who didn’t get what they wanted is a little blue today now that what didn’t happen has set in.