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Where Have You Gone, Boomer?

I knew Boomer Esiason. You're no Boomer Esiason.

I know I’m a day behind posting this, but if you’re like me you were absolutely delighted to see Deion “Prime Time” Sanders  provide this quote about Carson Palmer:

“You are a franchise quarterback. You can’t say I want to leave. Wipe your eyes off and play football. The Brown (family) doesn’t cave. You’re not going to bully those guys by any means.”

Damn right, Prime. Quote of the month!

Of course, if you’re not like me, you are probably laying  all the blame squarely at the feet of Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis, and it’s true they are also to blame.  Be that as it may, Palmer must share in the blame.  The fact is that Palmer is a franchise quarterback, and criticism comes with the territory.  This isn’t new to you and I, so why would it be to a guy playing the position since he was in pee-wee?

Quarterbacks know that they must shoulder more than their fair share of blame when things don’t go well, but they get more than their fair share of money (Palmer has a 100 million dollar contract) and authority within the organization.  He’s willing to wal away from 40 million in remaining dollars and one of the 32 most sought after jobs in professional football.  Think about that for a minute and tell me that’s not the sign of a weak, cowardly and desperate man.

It is clear to me that Palmer never asserted himself as a leader of this franchise, and watching how he let T.O. and Chad make a freak show of the offense in 2010 is simply proof of what he’s really saying behind his demands:  He is not tough enough for this job.

I for one, have no sympathy for him and this completely over-blown story about somebody scattering trash on his lawn. If this alone is enough for him to want to retire, abandon his teammates, leave 40 million on the table and leave his legacy as a quitter, then he certainly doesn’t have the toughness necessary to play in the National Football League. Geez, he must be on suicide watch when the neighborhood teenagers smash his jack-o-laterns on Halloween.

Don’t get me wrong.  Palmer is a nice guy.  He’s been a productive player and done a lot for this franchise.  He’s been able to put up some very good numbers and endured more than his fair shair of tough breaks.  He’s been regularly applauded for his sense of calm and his even-keel in the face of all of these adversities.  They say he’s the “same guy” whether they are up by 14 or down by 14 and that’s been generally seen as a good quality, but in retrospect I think he’s a little too calm and too even-keeled.

For my next quarterback, I’m interested in getting somebody with some more fire in their belly, more leadership ability, and more attitude.  Somebody less like a laid-back surfer  and more like a fiery egomaniac. 

Where have you gone, Norman Esiason?

The best QB in Bengal history likewise had a history of being a firebrand leader who was willing to stick his neck out.  When you look at the best in the game, they all have that trait.  Look at Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Philip Rivers.  I’d even sacrifice some arm-strength or natural talent for that kind of pure headstrong leadership.  The sad fact is the Buffalo Bills with undersized Ryan Fitzpatrick under center are better than the Bengals with Palmer.  Fitzpatrick can’t hang with Palmer’s talent, but he’s got moxie.

So to Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis I say this:  Get your first round pick and move on.  Let Jay Gruden mentor a QB who wants a shot at it.  Let the organization get a fresh start with some real leadership.  What’s the difference between a Cam Newton led 4-12 team and a Palmer led 4-12 team?



  1. Steve

    February 27, 2011 at 3:06 am


    Leaders are winners. Whiners are quitters.

  2. Pingback: Analysis: The Number Nine Whine Rolls On » Bengals Gab

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