For the next week all we will hear is that Carson Palmer is done, is not a franchise quarterback, and will not take the Bengals anywhere. This will cause me to pul my hair out, but after this last performance I have to say Carson has put this upon himself.
I know I will be accused of being a Carson apologist but I think that he can still be a top QB in this league. Maybe he will never be a Payton/Brady clone, but he can be a strong QB. However there are a few things that I would like to see happen to help Carson.
1. Go to more no-huddle offense. I know this has been called for before, but I have a new reason for going to the no-huddle offense. Carson always, Always goes up to the line and calls an audible based on what he sees from the defense. He does this though after having been in the huddle, so sometimes he has too little time to make changes. If Carson was to go no-huddle he could be at the line quickly, make his reviews and adjust without taking the full play clock. In addition by going to the huddle he allows the defense to substitute fresh players and make changes to their schemes. By going to a no-huddle the Bengals could force their opponents to keep the same players on the field, hopefully tiring them out. Last, I do think some of the false starts and illegal motion penalties occur because the players get into position and then have to hold there while Carson makes changes. Better to go up to the line quickly and then make quick adjustments.
2. Utilize Brian Leonard and Cedric Benson in the same backfield. Leonard and Benson are both better blockers than Gresham and Coats currently. They can provide both running and receiving threats out of the backfield. Leonard should play more fullback, which would allow Bernard Scott more opportunity as the third down back.
3. Deeper drops for Carson. TO was wide open on the second interception of Carson Palmer. If Carson had been able to follow through on his pass TO catches the deep pass for an easy TD. I watched highlights of Michael Vick’s performance yesterday, and I was amazed at how deep he was when he through a couple deep touchdowns. I think it would help Palmer to have more room to throw his passes, and give him the space to follow through on his delivery. To be honest I believe this is another reason for Leonard and Benson to be on the field together. I trust Leonard and Benson to pick-up the outside rush so that Palmer can
4. More plays for Shipley and Gresham, especially early in the game. Chad and TO had double coverage for a good portion of the game against the Panthers, yet Carson kept trying to get them the ball. Carson needs to hit the underneath stuff to Shipley and Gresham and make defenses pay, so that they are forced change coverage. Then go up-top to our big name playmakers.
5. Move Palmer occasionally. Palmer is not a mobile quarterback, and will never be mistaken for one, but it would help him if occasionally he was moved out of the pocket so that he is not always in the same place. Teams can aim for the same four yard circle behind the Bengal’s line and feel very confident they will hit Palmer. Moving Palmer around if successful would at least make teams have to consider that Palmer would get outside the pocket.
Who knows if this will work, and others may have better suggestions, but I do think yesterday's performance shows the Bengal's offense does need to do something. Hopefull we see improvement against the Browns