CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 21: Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals gives instructions to his team during the Bengals 49-31 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Paul Brown Stadium on November 21 2010 in Cincinnati Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
With talk about Carson Palmer demanding a trade, possibly with three NFC West teams believed to be his favorite, ESPN's NFC West blogger Mike Sando caught up with Scout Inc's Matt Williamson to talk about Palmer. Asked about how the quarterback evolved after the team acquired Terrell Owens, Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham, Williamson said:
He pretty much failed every test. He really struggled. His decision-making was poor. The ball doesn’t come out of his hand half as well as it did in his prime. There were very few who could throw as well as Palmer could throw, so he had some room for error. But all the things that went right for the Bengals two years ago -- the defense and running game -- those things all evaporated, too. He was asked to do a lot more, and he was exposed.
On how he played at the end of the year, converting 70% of his passes into completions with a 5-2 touchdown to interception ratio and averaging 261 yards/game. "All of a sudden, that late in the year, slinging the ball like that, I'm back to the drawing board," said Williamson. "But he doesn't generate power from his legs like he used to. His lower body has failed him and maybe he just happened to feel good one day."
But in the end, he doesn’t throw the ball as well as he has in the past. I am pretty comfortable with the evaluation of the guy that he is more the problem than the answer. His decision making was bad. If there was a stat for near-interceptions or dropped interceptions, he would have been near the top of the league this year. He had a ton of them. But then, against San Diego in Week 16, he looked like the 2005 version of Palmer.