I have no love lost for Carson Palmer. I’ve had a very thinly-veiled contempt for the player I used to call my favorite Bengal ever since he abandoned his teammates, his coaches, his fans, and his legacy by taking his proverbial ball and going home. I am 100% glad he is gone and no matter how well or poorly they end up being with Andy Dalton, it’ll be better than the alternative to me. I’ve taken quite a bit of flak for this position here at WDF, but I feel like I want players on the team who WANT to be Bengals, and who give their all to the orange and black, without excuses, bitching, moaning or whining.
Radical thinking, I know.
It has been my theory that Palmer quit on the Bengals prior to the end of the 2010 season. I believe that at some point in the middle of that 4-12 disaster, Palmer whined about T.O., Ocho, and the general state of the offense. I also believe that when he did that, Marvin Lewis told him, in so many words, “You are the quarterback. You are the leader. Stop whining and do something about it.” But you and I both know that Carson does not do that. His California dude attitude doesn’t strike fear in teammates, let alone ones with egos bigger than Cincinnati. So that challenge from Lewis, along with a lingering doubt about his own arm strength, led to his sit-down with Mike Brown.
Note: This is all conjecture and is my personal “magic bullet” theory only and is in no way substantiated by any facts that I know of.
However, that said, I did find this article of particular interest.
Basically, Marvin Lewis confirms that Carson quit on the Bengals long before his offseason trade demand:
At what point did Carson quit?” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis asks, repeating a similar question. “At some point last year he decided he didn’t want to be here. This didn’t happen at the end of the season. There was a point earlier on when he said, ‘This isn’t the place for me.’ ”
I hope this puts the final nail in the coffin of any argument from anyone that insists the team would be better off with him. No NFL team can succeed without the personal commitment of all the coaches and players–particularly the quarterback. I don’t begrudge Carson for being tired of Ocho’s antics and T.O.’s tantrums, but he’s the quarterback for Pete’s sake! He’s the one with the stroke to do something about it. Instead, he chose to quit.
This decision allowed the Bengals to decide to make other drastic changes, including trading Chad and going young at every position.
As one team official says: “We got rid of all our [expletive].”
Whoever that “team official” is, he’s officially awesome. I wish I knew which expletive it was.
Anyway, Lewis will get some serious grilling from the local beat guys and national media for his comments, but he should stand by his comments. This is EXACTLY what this team needed. Without the prima donnas and the whiny babies, this team is really fun to watch. And they are winning.