After the season, Carson Palmer’s second year in the league, it seemed imminent that he’d go down as one of the top five QBs of the decade, with a shot at even more. He led the NFL in completion percentage in 2005 and led the Bengals to a divisional crown and a home playoff game after years of putrid play. Over the course of the next two seasons, Palmer and the Bengals had their moments but were unable to take the next step forward as a team, missing the playoffs in both with a combined record of 15-17. Then in 2008, Palmer suffered ligament damage in his elbow and was shelved for 12 of the Bengals’ 16 games last year. He’s undergone surgery since then though and is on track to return in full form Palmer joined WQXI in Atlanta with former teammate David Pollack and Mike Bell to talk about his elbow, WR Ocho Cinco, and what he expects from himself and his team next year.
To start, how’s the arm doing:
“The arm is good, the arm is great. I’m ready to get going with OTAs in a couple of weeks and get ready for the season.”
On how he and the team are going to miss WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who left via free agency to Seattle:
“It’s definitely tough. You all know T.J.s a good locker room guy, he works hard, he’s a good guy for young receivers to watch to see how he takes care of his body and how he prepares for games. So we’re definitely going to miss his leadership and obviously the way he plays on game day. He makes play after play and is a big time clutch performer. So there’s really no way to replace a guy like that – they’re big shoes to fill.”
On whether or not Cedric Benson is a good locker room guy:
“Great locker room guy, great locker room guy. You know, he had a bad rapt coming in and we really didn’t know what to expect, but he’s been a pleasant surprise. A great leader, a vocal guy, a guy who plays extremely hard. And you know how this division is – it’s a run-first offense mentality with all the teams and you have to have a big, physical powerful back.”