Marvin Lewis held a press conference this morning at 11:00am. His first and most important topic was to officially name Palmer as the starter.
Lewis names Palmer 3/1/2004 - 3-1-04, 11:05 a.m. BY GEOFF HOBSON The Carson Palmer era began officially Monday when the Bengals named him the starting quarterback heading into the 2004 off-season workouts.
Head coach Marvin Lewis’ announcement at a Paul Brown Stadium news conference had been speculated ever since the end of Jon Kitna’s career year back on Dec. 28. Kitna’s 26 touchdown passes, which included 20 and just one interception in the Bengals’ eight victories, propelled Cincinnati to its first non-losing season in seven years and gave him the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award.
But before Kitna unleashed the club’s most accurate passing season in 20 years, the Bengals made Palmer the first overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft last April. Palmer came into the draft as the Heisman Trophy winner whose dimensions (6-5, 230 pounds), arm (seven 300-yard passing games and 33 touchdown passes as a senior), and leadership (the Trojans averaged 41 points per game in the last eight weeks to earn the Rose Bowl title), combined to make him what many draft experts consider the prototype of an elite pro quarterback.
But Lewis knows his decision is going to stir a season of questions. He is giving the reigns of a team that appears to be on the verge of the playoffs to a guy who didn’t take a single snap as a rookie last season. And, taking them away from a respected team leader coming off the best two-year stretch of his career. Its Palmer’s elite potential vs. Kitna’s no-frills, no-surprises production.
"It's a tough decision for not only what Jon did, but the person he is," Lewis said. "This way, we're going to go forward. I feel like it's the best thing for us to do right now. . .I don't want to get into specifics because of a guy who played his tail off. I was as supportive of him as anyone in this building all through last year and that's not going to change."
Lewis also announced the release of defensive tackle Oliver Gibson, a four-year regular, as well as the decision tender all seven restricted free agents. The big number went to running back Rudi Johnson in a one-year, $1.8 million offer that guarantees the Bengals first- and third-round compensation.
But Lewis had a tough call. Also figuring into the equation not only has to be Palmer’s pedigree and last year’s promising preseason, but also economics. Once the
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Bengals selected Palmer, they were chained together in the salary cap. His six-year, $40 million deal can max out at $49 million. Over last year and this one, he gets about $14 million in bonus and is scheduled to take home about $18 million in his first three years. That’s an expensive clipboard holder, but Lewis has insisted since he took the job 13 months ago that the best players and not the richest are going to play. He reiterated the point at last month’s NFL scouting combine when he said he’ll change quarterbacks if that is the reason the Bengals are losing games.
Lewis showed he would stay true to his beliefs last year despite Palmer’s spectacular moments. He flashed his enormous potential in the last preseason with a quite solid 87.8 passer rating.
In his PBS debut, Palmer was seven of seven passing for 97 yards to six different receivers and two touchdowns to lead a 23-10 win.
He also showed the inconsistencies of youth. In the pre-season opener at The Meadowlands against the Jets, he threw two interceptions that got returned for touchdowns. He also threw one of his own to finish 12 of 22 for 140 yards.
Plindsey88 wrote:So what do y'all think this means for Kitna... Will he back up Palmer or look to head somewhere else? And if he looks to get out of Dodge, where do you think are some likely places for him to end up?
Kitna is one hell of a guy. He has rumored to not only be willing to back up Palmer, but to also re-structure his contract and take a pay cut to help the team's salary cap for this offseason's free agency.
According to a SOS analyses based on 2003 stats that I and a few others have performed, Cincinatti has the toughest schedule in the league next year. And now throwing in a rookie QB who is without a single NFL snap? Chad Johnson, Rudi Johnson, Peter Warrick, Corey Dillon, whoever; all your stock just dropped in my book.
Looks like Kitna will be a Bengals for the one year remaining on his contract. I seriously doubt he will ever be a starter again unless a team has some major injuries to their QB. Good for Palmer. Palmer has the tools and with solid coaching and the talent around him he could preform at a decent level. Not from a fantasy standpoint, but to win some games. With the new QB and that tough schedule it will be tough for the Bengals to get back to 8-8. I like them and wish them well.
The Lung wrote:According to a SOS analyses based on 2003 stats that I and a few others have performed, Cincinatti has the toughest schedule in the league next year. And now throwing in a rookie QB who is without a single NFL snap? Chad Johnson, Rudi Johnson, Peter Warrick, Corey Dillon, whoever; all your stock just dropped in my book.
yes, it looks pretty tough on paper, but with the NFL, you can't tell who will be tough until the season starts. I remeber seeing Oakland on the schedule last year and thinking we were going to be facing the "Super Bowl" Raiders team from the year before. More than any other sport, football's offseason schedule strengths are a crapshoot.
Buckychudd wrote:Chad Johnson's value definitely takes a beating
While you're at it, tell me which lottery numbers to choose for the mega-million
21 06 18 09 11 Powerball 08
So what do you think, Palmer is going to come in and be able to read the field and make decisions like a veteran??? Gimmie a break, the QB is the hardest role to learn in the NFL by far. I hate to see a young QB get thrown to the wolves, even if he was a #1 pick.
Besides, I think Kitna deserved more than this from the Bengals organization.
I heard a report on the radio that, in addition to replacing him after he got MVP consideration, the Bengals were trying to explain the switch by saying that Kitna doesn't have the arm strength to be their starter.
Just when I thought that Cincy was turning the corner to becoming a respectable organization.
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