Preparing For Life Without Palmer

When it comes to charting a course for 2011, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has no choice but to plan as though quarterback Carson Palmer won't be back.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has heard from Carson Palmer, seen his statements about not wanting to play in Cincinnati anymore and has seen his owner's statement about how he will not trade Palmer.

So when it comes to plotting out a course for how to approach the upcoming season, Lewis is going about it the only way he knows how - he's preparing for life without Palmer.

When asked if his quarterback for the upcoming season is presently on the roster, Lewis said: "I don't know that. All I know is what's been said. You just have to take it from what we know. That's the way I'm proceeding."

Lewis said he has talked recently with Palmer but would not discuss the nature of those conversations. For those hoping that the addition of Jay Gruden as offensive coordinator will sway Palmer's opinion, it doesn't appear that Gruden and Palmer will be talking anytime soon according to Lewis.

"I don't think that's Jay's responsibility to do," said Lewis when asked if the two have spoken. "I think whatever has been said has been said. We're going to go and get ready for the football season. All I'm in control of is what we've got."

With the Palmer situation, the Bengals could be in the market to draft a quarterback during the first three rounds.

Whoever the quarterback ends up being, Lewis has been happy with how Gruden has approached things so far. Lewis has seen film of all of the top prospects but another important factor is going to be if they can transfer that ability from the college game to the pro game.

"Jay played and coached the position. He really sees the development of our offense through the eyes of a quarterback and I think that's a good thing for us," Lewis said. "As we go forward and go into this draft process, I think that's a real benefit. He has a feel for what he's looking for and what he wants to see. That will be good to listen to his evaluation of these guys."

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