Carson Palmer's performance in organized team workouts this week has been impressive. His verbal smack down on teammate Chad Ochocinco was also top shelf.
Palmer has been pain free after throwing the ball all week to newcomers Quan Cosby, the rookie from Texas, who has signed on as a free agent; and Lavernious Coles, the speedy receiver acquired in the off-season from the New York Jets.
Chris Henry, he of little discipline, has also been a pleasant surprise. Henry has been at the non-mandatory workouts looking much like a poor man's Randy Moss.
But there have been two noticeable absences so far. One being T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who departed the Bengals for the Seattle Seahawks. And of course, Ochocinco has been as scarce as his common sense so far.
The headline-starved receiver's antics have not been lost on the team's star quarterback, who made it clear how life should go on without Ochocinco.
"T.J.'s gone and Chad's pretty much gone, he hasn't been here, so we've got guys that want those two spots," Palmer said in an interview with the NFL Network. "I haven't talked to Chad, and I haven't talked to anybody that has talked to him."
Palmer didn't mince works either on predicting Ochocinco's immediate future with the team.
"He wasn't here last year, so I'm expecting him not to be here at all this year," he said.
With a paltry 53 receptions for 540 yards last year, the team might not miss the receiver formerly known as Johnson at all.
The workouts so far are not mandatory. Mandatory mini-camp will be held from June 18-20.
Ochocinco is slated to appear and be at full speed on those dates according to his junior college coach, Charles Collins, who told the NFL Network that Ochocinco is working hard to show that he still has game.
Palmer isn't buying the private workout situation. He reiterated his uncertainty with a comment that echoes the thoughts of coaches, fans, and teammates of Ochocinco.
"I really don't know," Palmer said.