Jump to content

Bengals article on fox sports


Recommended Posts

Fully recovered Palmer running Bengals again

Story Tools: Print Email

Associated Press

Posted: 8 hours ago

CINCINNATI (AP) - Carson Palmer eased back from center, saw Chad Johnson sprinting down the middle of the field and let it fly.

With a deceptively smooth flick of his right wrist, Palmer threw the ball 50 yards to the exact spot it had to be. Without breaking stride, Johnson looked back over his right shoulder, caught the ball and pulled it into his gut.

Any questions about Palmer's health were tucked away, too.

The third-year quarterback was running the Cincinnati Bengals' offense Friday on the first day of minicamp - one he had eagerly awaited. Palmer missed the last three games of last season because of a sprained knee, and the Bengals finished 8-8 in his first year as the starter.

"Anytime you go through an injury, it gives you new perspective," Palmer said. "It makes you hungry again."

Hungry for at least one more slump-busting win.

The Bengals haven't had a winning record or been to the playoffs since 1990, one of the longest droughts in NFL history. They finished 8-8 in their first two seasons under coach Marvin Lewis, their best two-season stretch during the 15-year slump.

They have invested draft picks in their defense and a lot of money in the offense, keeping it intact by signing running back Rudi Johnson and receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh to contract extensions.

Palmer, Houshmandzadeh, Chad Johnson and Rudi Johnson are signed through 2008, providing a chance for continuity - the main ingredient that was missing before Lewis took over.

For the first time since the days of Boomer Esiason, the Bengals have reason to be optimistic.

"I feel the excitement," Palmer said. "We feel we have a chance to be a good team."

Palmer will have a lot to do with it. The NFL's top overall draft pick in 2003 watched from the sideline as a rookie, then played like a rookie in the first half of last season. He also showed he's a quick study.

Palmer was starting to look like a franchise quarterback when he got hurt, throwing for seven touchdowns in the last two games. Overall, he threw for 2,897 yards with 18 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

He has grown a lot in a short time.

"I feel completely different," Palmer said, after an afternoon practice featuring several impressive completions to Chad Johnson. "I really feel comfortable with everybody around me. I feel comfortable with the offense. I feel comfortable with what's going on defensively and what we're trying to do. Having experience is everything."

The same goes for his teammates, who have taken to his easygoing nature. After years of adjusting to one quarterback after another, they've latched onto this one.

"He developed into the leadership role fast last season," Pro Bowl right tackle Willie Anderson said. "The first thing he had was a level of respect from teammates because he didn't let himself get put on a pedestal. He was one of the guys.

"The quarterback position naturally should garner respect from teammates and (fans) alike. When that guy's a genuinely good person, that comes faster. We allowed Carson to be that leader in his own way."

A year ago, the offense was learning about Palmer - how he reacts under pressure, how he recovers when things go wrong. By the time he got hurt, he had won them over.

"He's gotten a lot better," Chad Johnson said. "He'll be a lot smoother. Everyone is comfortable with what's going on."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...