Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer isn’t sure his team has the right staff in place to turn things around in the Queen City. As pointed out by SbB and the Cincy Jungle, these thoughts were echoed during a Q&A session with the Cincinnati Enquirer the day after the Bengals completed their disappointing 2007 campaign by dispatching the even lower Miami Dolphins.
When asked his thoughts about the current edition of the Bengals coaches, Palmer wasn’t that confident with his response:
Then he was asked if the same coaching staff can lead that turnaround.
“I don’t think so,” Palmer said.
Do you think there should be a change in coaches?
“I think so,” he said.
Do you think there will be?
“Like I said, I don’t make those decisions. I play quarterback.”
Do you know what’s going on?
If that isn’t one of the most ringing endorsements you’ve heard for a coaching staff… Palmer continued to discuss his thoughts, saying this past season was one of the most disappointing he’s ever had:
“Oh, yeah. I think the amount of sleep I lost this year. I think I’ve aged. I’m 28 going on 34. I think I lost a couple years,” he said. “Frustrating. Times I felt sick to my stomach and I didn’t have the flu. Just a long, long, frustrating year, but in saying that, I wish we could start all over and play 16 games right now. I’m not ready to go home.
“This is my most disappointing year of any sports, junior Pop Warner to T-ball to now. The losses, the way we lost, the fact we’re going to be watching the playoffs from our couches, the fact we don’t have practice next week.”
Much to their credit, the guys at the Cincy Jungle blog didn’t blindly side with Palmer. While they understood his frustration, they also say the turnaround needs to be led by Palmer himself. Responding to the comment about Palmer not sharing his opinion with the Bengals front office because it’s not his team, Kirkendall offers:
While he’s technically correct, this has always been my biggest complaint. What I expected, and what I wanted, of Palmer, when he became the everything to the Bengals, was leadership. This is his team. This team doesn’t succeed without him. This team has no chance. Not with its current makeup. Take charge. This is your team. Make the change happen. Perhaps expressing concern over the coaching staff was the first step. Perhaps the frustrated season simply spilled over. Either way. The team in flux and your opportunity to become the leader we expected is here. Take it or leave it. Just don’t miss it.
As a professed Bengals fan, I’m not sure where I stand with all this. I’ve never doubted Marvin Lewis but I don’t have the same confidence in his staff. Of course, if they could actually find a draft pick that’s able to play longer than a couple of games without getting into trouble (Odell Thurman) or getting severely injured (David Pollack, Kenny Irons, Chris Perry), it would be a step in the right direction (right now, the jury is still out on Leon Hall).