Forget everything that has happened in the past; Bengals' Carson Palmer and wide receiver Chad Ochocinco appear to be on the right track to becoming one of the deadliest duos in 2009.
When Bengals' Palmer addressed the media a few weeks ago about Ochocinco's absence from organized team activities, it appeared to be another drama-filled season for the Bengals. He seemed frustrated at the fact that nobody had seen nor heard from Ochocinco, who was supposedly staying in shape on his own.
The last couple of seasons have been interesting for Ochocinco and the Bengals. He has expressed his unhappiness with the organization and has requested to be traded the last two seasons. However, his wish was never granted by team owner Mike Brown, who said there were no intentions of ever trading him.
Despite missing OTA's, Ochocinco made it clear that he would be present once Bengals' minicamp started on June 18. Not only were many questioning what type of shape he would be in, but what to expect after Palmer stated Ochocinco's job could be in jeopardy due to the impressive play from wide receivers Laveranues Coles and Chris Henry.
After the first few days of minicamp, everything seems to be going just right for the Bengals. Palmer is looking like a leader more than ever. James Walker of ESPN reported Ochocinco is in fantastic shape as he did two sets of 14 40-yard dashes. Even Coles and Henry appear to be faster and stronger from last season.
A few weeks ago, the start of minicamp seemed to have potential for nothing but a headache for the Bengals with all of the drama surrounding Ochocinco. Now, it seems like things could not be going any better for Palmer and company.
To make up for lost time during OTA's, Ochocinco has agreed to stay with Palmer's family in July to get in some extra practice before the start of preseason in August. It's hard to believe a few weeks ago these two players were on the verge of a divorce from one another.
Whether or not Palmer and Ochocinco will be able to re-establish their strong connection from a few years ago should be determined over the next couple of weeks. For the first time in a while, the two appear to be on the same exact page and have a chance to make another run for an AFC North title like they did in 2005.
Last week, Ochocinco made a statement to the media, guaranteeing the Bengals would make the playoffs in 2009. He has been known for running his mouth in the past and making ludicrous predictions. However, the media and analysts around the league may be taking him serious for once with the way the team is progressing so far.
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