Cincinnati Bengals QB Carson Palmer’s comments about Chad Ochocinco have generated understandable buzz around Bengaldom. Via The Enquirer’s Joe Reedy, here’s what Carson had to say.
“It’s definitely a new look for the Bengals receiver corps but I couldn’t be happier with the guys we’ve got,” Palmer said. “T.J.’s (Houshmandzadeh) gone and Chad’s pretty much gone, he hasn’t been here, so we’ve got guys that want those two spots, guys that compete day in and day out, when we’re out there on the field, running, conditioning and in the weight room lifting. They’re guys that want to take over for those two spots. They look every bit capable of doing what we’re going to ask them to do.”
When asked what his expectations about Ochocinco this season were, Palmer said: “Well, I really don’t know. I haven’t talked to him. I haven’t talked to anybody that has talked to him. He wasn’t here last year so I’m expecting him not to be here at all this year. Last year I think he was here for the mandatory camp but didn’t participate in it. So I’m planning on him not being here just because he hasn’t been here yet so we’ll prepare, like I said.
“We’ve got Chris Henry … He’s a guy that’s had a great offseason, really turned his life around. I’m excited to watch him play. He’s a guy that seems like he catches a touchdown every other ball that’s thrown to him, he’s that explosive. He’s kind of taken over for Chad’s position and he’s a guy that, like I said earlier, does not want to give up that spot right now.”
Palmer also praised the play of receivers Laveranues Coles, Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson during the interview on the “Movin’ the Chains” show.
I agree with Reedy that Palmer’s remarks are of a piece with ones he’s made earlier in the season regarding Chad, not an indication that something is up on the trade or release front. There’s been no sign that the front office is any more willing to move Chad now than it was at the beginning of the year, though if the younger wideouts come on and injuries cause another team to come calling, that intransigence may soften. I wouldn’t count on it, though.
As to whether someone, namely Henry, will beat out Chad for a starting role — I think it will all depend on how Chad performs when he does show up. If he sulks and half-asses it, it could happen. On the other hand, if he works hard, he’ll almost certainly start. It’s totally up to him.
Update: The guy I once called “The Smartest Guy on Planet Bengal” weighs in, and is, as always, excellent. I’m not going to bother excerpting here, just go read the post AND the comments, where JT expands on his initial post, and touches on the whole Andre Smith agent mess as well. Best read in Bengaldom tonight by a proverbial country mile.