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Roethlisberger: Dalton is rookie of the year

One of Andy Dalton's biggest fans will be on the other sideline Sunday at Heinz Field.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger came away impressed when he watched Dalton play against the Pittsburgh defense three weeks ago. The Bengals quarterback's ability to anticipate (in how he thew the ball before the receivers broke) really stood out to Roethlisberger.

“The things that he does that you just don't see or expect from rookie quarterbacks," Roethlisberger said in a conference call with Cincinnati reporters, via The Cincinnati Enquirer. "There were a couple of throws last time we played them ... we got a guy right in his face, the receiver is still running a route, he throws an out route and the guy breaks right to the ball and it's perfect. Some of the things he did were really impressive."

Roethlisberger weighed on the debate of whether Dalton or Carolina quarterback Cam Newton is the NFL's top offensive rookie.

"Right now I think, and I don’t know how the talk is, but he’s rookie of the year," Roethlisberger said of Dalton. "I think he’s that good of a quarterback.”