Player Round Table (Carson Palmer)
By FBG Staff; Hosted by Maurile Tremblay
August 11th, 2010

Here at Footballguys.com, we have Spotlights and Faceoffs. Those features are fairly comprehensive, but they are limited to viewpoints from either one or two writers. Well some players need a little more commentary. We have decided open up the dialog and asked our staff to leave their thoughts on these players and what is expected from them in 2010. Here, discussion centers around QB Carson Palmer.

Andy Hicks: The Carson Palmer of last season did not look the same as the Carson Palmer of 2005 to 2007.

I took Palmer late in a number of drafts last year, hoping he'd get back to his glory days quickly. Watching him closely, I couldn't help but notice his struggles to complete long passes, and his general lack of confidence in the huddle. If we wasn't carrying multiple injuries, he definitely played like it.

The Bengals transitioned to a run-oriented offense last year, and with the defense finally showing some teeth, they do not need Palmer to air it out.

Although the Bengals added Terrell Owens, Antonio Bryant, and Matt Jones to help his cause, I still consider Palmer a mere game-manager these days until he shows me differently.

Mark Wimer: I agree with Andy that Palmer just hasn't looked the same since his throwing-elbow ligament/tendon injury. It may have healed naturally, but I'm not sure it is ever going to allow Palmer to return to his pre-injury form. He threw for over 300 yards just once last year, and failed to crack 200 yards passing seven times (make it eight if you count the playoff loss to the Jets). The Bengals have become a more conservative, run-first and defense-oriented team, because that is where their strengths currently lie.

The reality here is that Palmer is likely to stay a backup-caliber fantasy QB, given his level of capability these days and the offensive philosophy of the team.

Notching W's in the win column may be what matters in the real NFL, but in fantasy football, owners want explosive passing performances from their quarterback - which you aren't likely to get from Palmer.

Sigmund Bloom: That was then, this is now. The Bengals went out and signed Terrell Owens and Antonio Bryant, and drafted Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley. Last year's first-round pick, Andre Smith, should be ready to start at OT, and the makings of a resurgent passing offense are present. Palmer was on a 3,600-yd, 28-TD pace before the Bengals took the air out of the ball in the second half of the season, and their offseason moves indicate that they saw the error of their ways when they were toothless in a playoff comeback attempt against the Jets (in which Palmer looked very off, it must be admitted).

Palmer really started to look like Palmer of old with his clutch drives, underrated mobility, and savvy play in the first half of the season. Perhaps his arm injury is catching up with him, but the pieces are in place for a balanced offense that uses Palmer's full range of skills. He's more than worth his current average draft position of QB15.

Mark Wimer: The question is, as Sigmund put it, why did the Bengals take the air out of the ball? Part of the slowdown has to be attributed to the loss of Chris Henry (first to a broken arm, then to his passing on), no doubt. However, I think that Palmer's arm simply got "tired" as the season wore on - there wasn't much left to his game by the playoff tilt versus the Jets, as Sigmund alluded to above.

I'd rather roll with Joe Flacco or Eli Manning at QB2 as both those guys and their surrounding casts of receivers are on the upswing, in my opinion. Palmer is declining, and it remains to be seen how well the new WRs will mesh with their new club and the mercurial Chad Ochocinco.

Anthony Borbely: I thought Palmer looked hurt for most of last year. He had no velocity, and his accuracy was off. He looked like he had no confidence in making certain throws, especially downfield. Those are signs of an injured QB. A healthy Palmer has confidence and swagger. Those elements were missing last year.

It's pretty simple for me: Until I know Palmer is healthy, there is no way I will draft him as anything more than a mid QB2. Right now, I'm not convinced that he is healthy.

© 2010 Footballguys - All Rights Reserved