Add it up any way you want; it keeps equalling Pro Bowl Year for Carson.
Remember this cute kid in gold and red? Well, get ready for #3 to return to being the best in the league.
Carson Palmer's reign as the Bengals QB and biggest toe has been a bumpy journey. Ask any fan, and they'll tell you he hasn't had it easy at any point in his career. 2010 is no exception to this, but unlike any other year - even the mythical 2005 season, things have never been so perfectly lined up. Hell, even the Chinese calendar proves this is going to be the year of the Tiger. The Bengal Tiger to be specific.
How can I say such things? Well read on.
A quality Group of Wide Recievers.
Yes, we had a great group before. Slim (R.I.P.), Housh, and Chad of course have been a great 1,2,3 threat that opened things up. But that alone won't win you games. You can't just rely on one facet to make everything all right. As good as these guys were together, this year I believe we are more complete. You know it. I know it. Carson knows it too.
Legitimate alternative Options
OMG, Tight ends that can actually catch? And others that can block, and some that can do both? Are you nuts? Did we just draft the best TE? Yes, we did! I'm hoping we also have Chase Coffman ready to go as well, he's icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned. Add in a dose of veteran bad ass blocking from Reggie Kelly and I think we're set. Fear not everyone. Dan Coates will NOT be in the final 53. I don't care how much Mike Brown loves the guy.
An established Running Game
Oh man. No need to belabour this one either. Benson is for real and so is Bernard Scott. Brian Leonard is too. Behold opposing Defenses, the Killer Bee's have arrived to make you look silly. As great as these guys did last year, they suffered because there was no real passing threat. That's not a problem this year. They are also pretty good pass blockers too! Fui you say? Yep.
Solid Offensive Line
You can't talk about a running game without talking about the stockyard. These guys are not only good, but they played exceptionally well last year and everyone's back. And Andre is going to be here all year (aren't you?) to help with the issues of pass defense. Last year at this time, we weren't sure if we even had enough players for an O-line, let alone one that we trusted with Carson's life. I like our guys and think they are strong and physical. Carson needs this to give him time to connect deep.
Aggressive & Dominating Defense
You know what made 2009 a year for Bengals Fans to be proud of? A bad-ass defense that I was always happy to see out there. They might have stumbled a bit towards the end of the season, but no one can deny that in each game they kept the best of the league's offense in check. This year we have most of the guys back. Some are meaner and leaner. Some have been off the bottle and looking to break bones. It's going to be a feeding frenzy for the Tiger Sharks this year. I cannot wait to see them smashing and crushing their way to the QB. The Pass Rush is on!
We are stacked at a lot of key positions. Lets see who rises to the top of the list to make it past cut down day. Those that do are going to be hungry. I also love the fact that there's few prima donnas and that everyone is in the scheme. Sure, you have starters, but on this years team it doesn't really matter. Guys are going to cycle in all the time making for some great mismatches and opportunities.
The analysts tell us we have one of the hardest schedules of any team this year. You know what? We do. But... We are ready to take on ANYONE. Forget all that you know. Every close game with the best teams that we lost. Broncos? Fluke plays are not going to win it for you this year. Jets? Oh man, Bring it on. Ravens? Colts? Saints? Yeah, in order to be taken serious, we need to go head to head with the best. I say, bring it on!!!
Carson has had some pretty tough injuries over the years. I don't need to go down the list, but there is truth to him being a bit gun shy and throwing too soon because of it. Or throwing it away because he couldn't scramble very well. Well, last year I saw Carson move out of the pocket and make throws on the run. I also saw him handing off with the wrong hand. Yes. I did. He played through his injury and did pretty well, but I believe that his thumb and every other body part is in good shape for this year. He's going to need to be if he plans on having a record year.
Carson Palmer, the Veteran Leader
I must admit, this is where I have to be concerned. I believe he can do it. I have to believe that because everyone from diehard fans to sports writers to the morons at NFL Channel, ESPN and the network nuckleheads are going to be telling us this every chance they get. It's their only legit arguement that we are not worthy. However, who doesn't believe Palmer can pull it off?
So that's what I think. This also helps me feel better about not having a quality backup QB. We shouldn't need one if Carson is the man this year to take us all the way to the top. Go ahead, add it up. Carson will benifit from how complete of a team surrounds him. Just like it's supposed to be.
2010 - the year of the Tiger.