We've speculated in the past that even if the Bengals select a quarterback through the first two rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft, the team may not allow the rookie to start the first week of the 2011 regular season. They haven't done it since Greg Cook in 1969 and the Bengals are led by a head coach that sat quarterback Carson Palmer during his rookie season in 2003.
Obviously the biggest difference with Palmer is that the Bengals had a veteran quarterback in Jon Kitna, who had a deep knowledge of the playbook and several seasons of experience on his resume. The Bengals do not have that luxury with Dalton, with Jordan Palmer's three games and 15 regular season pass attempts being the most experienced on the team's roster.
We've flirted with the idea that maybe the Bengals will work towards developing Jordan Palmer into a temporary starting quarterback while Dalton's training allows his development to grow at his own pace. Why such a ridiculous idea? For one thing, we try to think of many scenarios so we look like geniuses later. And another, Palmer gathered several Bengals players together during the lockout and conducted a workout, which would promote the favored leadership skills of a quarterback. But a far more practical idea is signing a veteran free agent quarterback as a bridge until Dalton is comfortable and ready.
According to the Mothership, the Bengals are going to discuss their options.
Lewis says the club is going to consider in the next few days whether it should sign a veteran quarterback to join second-rounder Andy Dalton and returning backups Jordan Palmer and Dan LeFevour while keeping in mind there is a total of 14 NFL passes among them.
But what about Dalton? Could he be the first since Greg Cook to start the first regular season game as a rookie?
"I don't think there's an exact need. I feel really good about the guy we were able to draft," Lewis said. "If he ends up being the starter as a rookie, I think he can do that."
Quarterback, like so many positions on the roster, will be high interest stories as we hit a lull in the NFL offseason.