Last weekend Carson Palmer demanded a trade. This weekend, there were some overtures to suggest that the team heard him. Or as overtures that only the Bengals can make.
According to National Football Post's Dan Pompei, the Bengals admit that they didn't give Carson Palmer the tools in which he could succeed in 2010.
People at Paul Brown Stadium tell me they believe the team didn’t give Palmer the best chance to succeed last year because of what they surrounded Palmer with. If they keep Palmer—and they want to pacify him and make it work—they will try to rectify the situation by making sure the locker room understands that Palmer is the only leader. They also plan to give him a chance to hit more downfield throws.
Making the locker room understand that Palmer is the leader is just short of confusion. In our fairy tale, leaders tend to take charge rather than having it gift wrapped to them. But that's not important.
We have to believe that "People at Paul Brown Stadium" could be referring to anyone when saying that they didn't give Palmer the "best chance to succeed." Could it be the pressure of feeding the football to Terrell Owens or Chad Ochocinco? When both players went down with injuries, younger receivers like Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell gave the team, especially Palmer, energy. Palmer even seemed happier.
Maybe "they" could be referring to the offensive line. Palmer was sacked 26 times in 2010, tied for second-most in his career. Though Palmer was hit a lot more than 26 times. According to Pro Football Focus, Palmer was hit an additional 34 times, sometimes hard. Of 14 players on the offensive line, only six were drafted into the NFL (Andre Smith, Andrew Whitworth, Anthony Collins, Bobbie Williams, Reggie Stephens, Otis Hudson). Jason Shirley was drafted as a defensive lineman in 2008.
Maybe it's the running game, which averaged 3.6 yards/rush in 2010. Over the course of 22 years, the Bengals never fell below a 3.6 yards/rush average -- only managing that number three times, including once in 2008.
Whatever it is, you know one thing. The Cincinnati Bengals will try to pacify Carson Palmer by building around him to make sure he has the tools necessary to succeed. To be honest, fans won't believe it until we see it. There's too much lip service recently, causing a shortage of chapstick in the city.