Is It All About Trust?
Carson Palmer is a Heisman Trophy winning, 1st pick of the '03 draft talent that has been named MVP of an NFL Pro Bowl. In '09 the Bengals threw for a paltry 180 yards/game. The passing game had its moments including Andre Caldwell's TD catch with :14 to play to beat the Steelers 23-20. Two weeks later, Caldwell caught a 20 yard TD with :22 left to beat the Ravens on the road. Carson was 20/24 for 233 yards, with 5 TDs in a 45-10 blowout of the Bears. In a 27-24 road loss to the Chargers, Palmer was 27/40 for 314 yards and 2 TDs.
However, inconsistency ruled for the Bengals passing game. Why? Quarterbacks expect receivers to be where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there. Receivers thrive when QBs put the ball in the proper spot on time. Trust between QBs and receivers is a must. There was not enough trust in the '09 Bengals passing attack. Big plays are made by "covered" receivers regularly because QBs trust in contested catch situations, if their receivers cannot make the play, the opponent surely cannot.
The Bengals have added a whole set of tools to Carson Palmer's tool belt. Free agency delivered WR Antonio Bryant from the Bucs. He's still thought to be in his prime. Jermaine Gresham, TE out of Oklahoma, is a huge target that can run. WR Jordan Shipley's 248 catches are the most ever in Texas Football history. Kansas WR Dezmon Briscoe had 219 catches for 3240 yards and 31 TDs. The college draft picks combined for 90 receiving touchdowns. It's never too early to work on building the all important trust between QB and receivers.