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Bengals QB Andy Dalton returns home to Katy

FootballHouston TexansAFCAndy DaltonCincinnati BengalsKareem JacksonDeMeco Ryans

You can come home after all.

The pride of Katy High School is the starting quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, Andy Dalton.

No. 14 returns home to tackle the Texans in the AFC Wild Card Round at Reliant Stadium on Saturday, Jan. 7, which is a short drive from his old stomping grounds.

"Everybody comes in, and they're ordering like these large meal deals, so they can go home and have these parties so they can watch the Houston Texans [take on Dalton and company]," said Marleen Rickert, a Katy resident who works at a restaurant, about Dalton returning home.

"Everybody's pulling together for him."

Yeah, you might say everyone in Katy will be watching the AFC Wild Card Round battle.

"Everybody here in the community of Katy is very excited about what he's done," Gary Joseph, Katy's head football coach who was instrumental in Dalton's development, said. "Not just because of what he's done on the football field but the kind of person he is. He represents this school and this community very well."

"He did very well at Texas Christian [University]," Ike Thompson, a long-time Katy resident who's son played football with Dalton, said. "Katy is so proud of him that you can't imagine. We appreciate that he's able to bring it [AFC Wild Card Round] here and play the Texans Saturday at Reliant."

"We text [each other] before some games sometimes and stuff so it's great having a great role model like him," Brooks Haack, a Katy varsity quarterback, said. 

"We definitely haven't played our best game yet, and that's what we're working for," said Dalton. "We gotta go put it all together."

The Texans will try to ruin Dalton's homecoming.

"We have to find a way to put pressure on him. He's a young quarterback but he plays like a veteran," said DeMeco Ryans, who's a Texans linebacker.

Texans free safety Danieal Manning couldn't agree more that, "the quarterback is definitely playing well, and he's going to get the ball to his play makers."

"He's proved himself all year," Kareem Jackson, a Texans defensive back, said.

"He's a smart football player. He knows where to go with the football," T.J. Yates, a Texans quarterback, said. "They have some great weapons."

"Being the good kid that he [Dalton] is you kind of want to pull for him, but I'm still with the Texans. Sorry," said Rickert with a huge smile. 

"I'm rooting for Andy," said Joseph.

"No. 14. Way to go Andy," said Thompson.

Wonder how many tickets Dalton's buying for family and friends? Good luck to them in the enemy seats!

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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FootballHouston TexansAFCAndy DaltonCincinnati BengalsKareem JacksonDeMeco Ryans