Mixon appreciative that 'Big Brother' Dalton reached out after draft

Cincinnati Bengals second-round draft pick Joe Mixon speaks during a news conference at Paul Brown Stadium, Saturday, April 29, 2017, in Cincinnati. The former Oklahoma running back was selected as the 48th overall pick. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton isn't ready for younger teammates to call him "dad" yet in deference to him turning 30 later this year, but he doesn't mind taking on the role of big brother, which is what he did to try and welcome troubled running back Joe Mixon to the team.

The Bengals controversially selected Mixon in the second round of the draft despite his having hit a female co-ed at the University of Oklahoma hard enough to break four bones in her face.

Dalton said he's willing to give Mixon a chance at a fresh start with the Bengals and texted him right after he was selected.

"People may say, ‘Well, I wish was he wasn't here,’ but he’s here regardless so I think now for me I’m going to be the best teammate I can be, and be someone that can show him how to handle yourself," said Dalton. "We’ve got a lot of guys in this locker room that can show him the right way to do things. I think he’s willing and I hope he’s willing, and if he is then he could have a good long career because he’s a talented player."

Mixon said he was appreciative of the text messages from Dalton not only right after he was drafted, but also during the team's rookie mini-camp that was held May 5-7, and Mixon made sure to respond back.

"Just that we were getting after it and going to work, working hard and trying to get in that playbook and learn everything, that everything was going good," said Mixon. "I thought it was cool. I'd never talked to him before. For him to be sending text messages, it was cool."

The two met in person for the first time on Monday when the team held an Organized Team Activity workout.

"He's a cool dude," Mixon said of Dalton. "Very laid back, but he's there to get the job done."

While Dalton is normally fairly quiet and reserved, with the loss of veteran offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth he is willing to accept more of a leadership role.

"That’s my role now," said Dalton. "I can be the big brother."

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