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Carson Palmer Ready For Redemption

At the start of the playoffs in 2005, Carson Palmer seemed like a sure bet to be one of the top 3-5 quarterbacks in the National Football League behind only Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. A knee injury in the Wild Card round against the Pittsburgh Steelers knocked Palmer and the Bengals out that year, and neither Cincinatti nor the former #1 overall draft pick out of USC has been the same since. The Bengals have missed the playoffs the past three years while Palmer suffered from poor decision making  and an elbow injury during the first quarter of the  season.Palmer joined KLAC on Thursday to talk about his health, and his expectations for himself and the organization season looms ever closer.

On former USC quarterback Matt Sanchez and his situation as a top-five draft pick by the New York Jets:

‘It couldn’t have worked out any better. For him to be able to play for a great organization like that, but more importantly, people kind of take it out of perspective – normally when you’re a top player you’re going to a bad team. But for whatever reason, I forget where they [the Jets] traded up, but they’re a good football team. That Rex Ryan defense is going to be a top-five defense, their offensive line is phenomenal, they have the #2 rushing attack in the AFC, so I really don’t think it could have worked out any better – going to a big city and all the bigtime connections he’s going to have in a city like New York, and like I said, when you’re a top-five pick and you get to go to a good team – that rarely, rarely happens in this league. So he’s going to a good spot.’

Palmer then further expained his recent comments about wide receiver Chad Johnson and how the team would still love to have him if ‘Ocho Cinco’ were in fact to part ways with the Bengals:

‘Getting in to the whole Chad Johnson subject…you just blew that whole thing about Chad out of proportion. You read it in the blogs, I never said anything about how we don’t need him.  You read it on the blogs, it didn’t come from my mouth, it came from somebody else’s interpreting it. I said, he hasn’t been here because he doesn’t want to be here – he said that. And, he’s a damn good receiver, that’s obvious. Anyone can see that. But, the guys that are working here and busting their butt here working hard deserve a shot. When he shows up here, he’ll show up, and hopefully he’s in great shape and ready to play. But I never once said anything about not wanting him here or not wanting him. He’s a Pro Bowl wide receiver, he’s put up a ton of yards, he’s extremely dangerous to cover. We would love him.”

On whether he’ll miss T.J. Houshmanzadeh more than he would Chad ‘Ocho Cinco’ Johnson if he were to move on from the Bengals:

“Well, statistically, you look at Housh in the last three years has about 300 something catches. So, that’s a lot of touches and Housh was a great leader too, so we’re going to miss him tremendously. He’s a huge addition for that Seattle Seahawks team and a big loss for us.”

On running back Cedric Benson, who joined the Bengals in October of 2008 after being released by the Chicago Bears:

‘He can be great, there’s no question about that. There’s no question that he’s the guy, he’s going to carry the load for us. He was the 4th pick in the [2006] Draft and he’s already shown that in the few OTAs that we’ve had this year. And like you said, he finished out the year great last year. So, he’s got a whole year under his belt figuring out the system, picking up out system. And he’ll get even more experience throughout the rest of our OTAs, mini-camps, and training camp. But he’s a 230 pound guy that runs like Petros [host of show on KLAC] used to run..and he puts his shoulder down and runs people over, and he turns the corner, and he catches the ball really well. He’s just the complete package..’

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