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Rule No. 1 For Veteran Free Agent Quarterbacks: Experience In The West Coast

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Largely based on conjecture, speculation and other radical projection-related phrases, Mothership writer Geoff Hobson believes that if the Bengals elect not to sign a veteran free agent quarterback to bridge the eras between "The Franchise" Carson Palmer and "The Rookie" Andy Dalton, then Cincinnati could be comfortable heading into training camp with only three quarterbacks. The usual suspects are the same. Jordan Palmer, Dan LeFevour and Dalton.

Not only has Jordan Palmer thrown 15 regular season passes in his career, all were during mop-up duty on the losing end of massive blowouts. LeFevour, who is generating his own fan club, hasn't been active for a regular season game yet. Then again, neither has Dalton. But the question isn't so much how many quarterbacks the Bengals take into training camp. No. The larger question, or point of interest at the very least, is if the Bengals sign a veteran free agent, which quarterback would be the best fit?

Gruden had Bruce Gradkowski in Tampa. Two of Gradkowski's six wins in 20 NFL starts have come against the Bengals. Tarvaris Jackson, a West Coast guy from the Brad Childress School, can move in and out of the pocket. The Bengals set up a free-agent visit with Rex Grossman a few years ago, but it looks like he's going to be the starter in Washington and he's a guy not identified with the West Coast scheme.

I would also add that Matt Hasselbeck came from the Mike Holmgren School, who Jon Gruden and Andy Reid studied under (and by extension, Childress), that studied under Bill Walsh -- the legendary West Coast coach that coached with the Bengals for eight years. But then again, we firmly believe that the Bengals signing Hasselbeck to babysit the quarterback position for half a season would seem a little beneath the quarterback, who doesn't have much time left in the NFL and will want to play for the team that offers the best opportunity for a championship.