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Lewis tackles issues monday 11am 3/1/04


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Maby we will get some answers abought palmer/kitna/dillion and many other questions we might have been stiring around here -- BUT the way Marvin Lewis speaks i think we will just get more questions.... sometimes i hate how diplomatic he is when answering questions they allways seem to lead ya back in a circle and never answers them 100% <_<

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Yup. Here's da scoop from bengals.com:

Lewis names Palmer

3/1/2004 - 3-1-04, 11:05 a.m.


The Carson Palmer era began officially Monday when the Bengals named him the starting quarterback heading into the 2004 off-season workouts.

Head coach Marvin Lewis’ announcement at a Paul Brown Stadium news conference had been speculated ever since the end of Jon Kitna’s career year back on Dec. 28. Kitna’s 26 touchdown passes, which included 20 and just one interception in the Bengals’ eight victories, propelled Cincinnati to its first non-losing season in seven years and gave him the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award.

But before Kitna unleashed the club’s most accurate passing season in 20 years, the Bengals made Palmer the first overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft last April. Palmer came into the draft as the Heisman Trophy winner whose dimensions (6-5, 230 pounds), arm (seven 300-yard passing games and 33 touchdown passes as a senior), and leadership (the Trojans averaged 41 points per game in the last eight weeks to earn the Rose Bowl title), combined to make him what many draft experts consider the prototype of an elite pro quarterback.

But Lewis knows his decision is going to stir a season of questions. He is giving the reigns of a team that appears to be on the verge of the playoffs to a guy who didn’t take a single snap as a rookie last season. And, taking them away from a respected team leader coming off the best two-year stretch of his career. Its Palmer’s elite potential vs. Kitna’s no-frills, no-surprises production.

"It's a tough decision for not only what Jon did, but the person he is," Lewis said. "This way, we're going to go forward. I feel like it's the best thing for us to do right now. . .I don't want to get into specifics because of a guy who played his tail off. I was as supportive of him as anyone in this building all through last year and that's not going to change."

Lewis also announced the release of defensive tackle Oliver Gibson, a four-year regular, as well as the decision tender all seven restricted free agents. The big number went to running back Rudi Johnson in a one-year, $1.8 million offer that guarantees the Bengals first- and third-round compensation.

But Lewis had a tough call. Also figuring into the equation not only has to be Palmer’s pedigree and last year’s promising preseason, but also economics. Once the

Bengals selected Palmer, they were chained together in the salary cap. His six-year, $40 million deal can max out at $49 million. Over last year and this one, he gets about $14 million in bonus and is scheduled to take home about $18 million in his first three years.

That’s an expensive clipboard holder, but Lewis has insisted since he took the job 13 months ago that the best players and not the richest are going to play. He reiterated the point at last month’s NFL scouting combine when he said he’ll change quarterbacks if that is the reason the Bengals are losing games.

Lewis showed he would stay true to his beliefs last year despite Palmer’s spectacular moments. He flashed his enormous potential in the last preseason with a quite solid 87.8 passer rating.

In his PBS debut, Palmer was seven of seven passing for 97 yards to six different receivers and two touchdowns to lead a 23-10 win.

He also showed the inconsistencies of youth. In the pre-season opener at The Meadowlands against the Jets, he threw two interceptions that got returned for touchdowns. He also threw one of his own to finish 12 of 22 for 140 yards.

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