Is There A Divide Growing Between Players and Coaches?

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 10: Quarterback Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals gets set to throw from the pocket against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Paul Brown Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Through five games Carson Palmer is on pace for 4,118 yards and 22 touchdowns. Palmer has already doubled last year's 300-yard performances and he's two games away from having as many games with multiple touchdowns as he did last year. During the loss to the Cleveland Browns, Palmer averaged 10.3 yard/pass, which is the first time he averaged more than 10 yards/pass since averaging 10.8 yards/pass against the New York Jets on October 21, 2007.

ESPN's Trent Dilfer analyzed Palmer during Monday Night Countdown and said that Palmer isn't checking down, trying to squeeze passes into impossible windows, using the interception on third-and-13 that led to Palmer's second interception. Jermaine Gresham was wide open, about six yards short of the first down on a hook route, while Terrell Owens' route passed the first down marker, breaking towards the middle of the field on an in-route.

When asked about that play, Carson Palmer admitted to the mistake -- though you have to wonder if his comments isn't more tongue-in-cheek regarding the actual play call.

“I don’t think we’d run that play yet. As I said before, we were just a little bit off all game. When you’re playing teams in this league, those little mistakes can turn into big ones. That turned into an interception which ended up tying the game. We’re not going to beat people playing like that.”

During Marvin Lewis' press conference on Monday, the head coach responded to Palmer's comments, saying:

“I don’t know that everything was a little bit off. I think we just have to go beyond, and that’s the important part. We have 11 parts on each play, and not all of them are going to be perfect, but we ought to be able to overcome it and make it a positive outcome each and every time.”

Along with Cedric Benson being frustrated, saying that the Bengals offense is lacking an identity, and Terrell Owens saying that his vast experience is being disregarded and his input is falling on deaf ears, the chink in the "armor" between players and coaches is growing far too much to ignore.

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