After my last article on the success that the Bengals have had from the University of Georgia, I think it’s only fair that I speak on the busts that we’ve experienced from USC.
Because we all know there’s been quite a few of them.
To start with the most notable, Carson Palmer.
As the first overall selection of the 2003 Draft, Cincinnati had high expectations for the quarterback out of USC, following an illustrious college career.
The potential was there, but the luck wasn’t.
Palmer had a sub-par year in 2004, but followed with a stellar performance in 2005, leading the Bengals to a playoff appearance and giving hope to Cincinnati fans for the first time in 15 years.
However, on the first play, in his first playoff game, even as Chris Henry hauled in a 66-yard pass from his sophomore quarterback, Steelers DT Kimo Von Oelhoffen drove hard into Palmer’s left knee, severely injuring him.
The Bengals lost the game 31-17.
Palmer returned from the injury to start the 2006 season, but the team really never had the same success. Though it wasn’t always the quarterback’s fault, because of injury, off-field issues, and a plethora of just about anything else that could happen culminated in a poor decade for the Bengals and a fall-out between Palmer and management for Cincinnati.