Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is continuing to say that if Carson Palmer returns to Cincinnati, he’ll be the starter. But Lewis also says he thinks rookie Andy Dalton will be ready to start Week One.
“There’s no question when we selected Andy Dalton we selected him with that in mind that he’d possibly be our opening-day starting quarterback,” Lewis said on ESPN 101 in St. Louis, via SportsRadioInterviews.com.
Palmer has been quiet publicly, but privately he has reportedly decided to retire if the Bengals won’t trade him. The Bengals say they won’t trade him, and Lewis sounds like he’s at peace with the idea that Palmer is done playing football.
“That’s his prerogative, so at this point in his career he decided to retire,” Lewis said. “It’s a good decision that he made to move on with the rest of his life and we understand that and accept that.”
And so Lewis, knowing he can’t force Palmer to return to the Bengals, is now trying to put a happy face on the idea of heading into 2011 with no better option than Dalton.