Carson Palmer: Taking His Leadership to New Heights

Kyle Strittholt@Man0fSteel94Correspondent IMay 21, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 15: Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals calls the play against the San Francisco 49ers on December 15, 2007 at Monster Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Carson Palmer has been a great player for the Cincinnati Bengals. He’s been their leader, one of their best players, and the voice of the Bengals team.

Now, he has taken everything up a notch since the very disappointing 2008 season.

Carson watched his team go 4-11-1 last season, and be mocked on a consistent basis as being one of the worst teams in the league.

Then, the start of the offseason was looking horrendous with the loss of a key part of the Bengals offensive attack in T.J Houshmandzadeh.

Palmer responded by talking to Laveranues Coles, and talking the coaches into the start of the salvation of the '09 season without T.J.

This addition will do the Bengals good, because he is very capable of being a No. 1 receiver if Chad Ocho Cinco doesn’t get things done this season.

After this addition, Andre Smith, a tackle out of Alabama, saw Palmer in an airport and told him he would help keep him upright and healthy if drafted by the Bengals.

How did the Bengals respond to a player that Palmer trusted? They used the sixth pick in the draft to get him in Cincinnati, despite his troubles he had before the draft.

All of this tells one story. The Bengals trust Carson’s judgement. They are building this team around him, and I do think there will be great results because of it.

Carson didn’t tell Marvin Lewis to take a look at Beanie Wells to help the running game, or Michael Crabtree to help give himself more weapons. Palmer vouched for a particular offensive lineman, because he believes that is what the Bengals need.

When you look at Carson’s biggest targets, it was T.J that was most consistent in the first-down catches, but Chad Ochocinco was always Palmer’s deep threat.

People have seen it time and time again, Palmer yelling at Chad in the huddle for running the wrong route and dropping perfectly thrown balls.

This is a prediction, that when Ochocinco’s contract is up, he is out of Cincinnati. He drives coaches crazy, and when you are not functioning with the quarterback, it’s either the receiver or the quarterback that gets the boot, and you know without a doubt Palmer is staying put.

Chad has not shown up to mini-camps and Palmer has made the statement that the Bengals are “fine without him.”

Another look at a player Palmer has influenced the coaches to keep with is Chris Henry.

Fans, media, and even Marvin Lewis has given up on Chris Henry at one point and time, but Palmer has continued to believe in his troubled teammate.

He constantly brags about how talented Henry is, and he even believes that Henry can take the place of Chad Ochocinco. Those are strong words from the former Heisman-winning quarterback.

Time will only tell if all that Palmer has influenced for his team will eventually be their ticket to the playoffs, and maybe to the Super Bowl. 

The thing people have to remember is Palmer is not a coach, he’s a player. He can say all he wants, but if the staff of the Bengals do not want anything to happen, then they don’t have to listen to him.

This just shows how much faith the Bengals have in their quarterback and their face of their franchise. We will see come 2009 if “The Palmer Strategy” works.