Jordan Palmer is used to watching a quarterback picked first overall and wearing No. 9 leading the Cincinnati Bengals. The biggest difference is this time it will be Joe Burrow.
Burrow, who won the Heisman Trophy while leading LSU to the national championship last year, becomes the Bengals' franchise quarterback Sunday when they open against the Los Angeles Chargers.
There are plenty of connections between Burrow and Palmer. Burrow did his predraft training in Southern California with Palmer and is wearing the number that Carson Palmer, Jordan's older brother, had during his eight seasons in Cincinnati.
Jordan Palmer acknowledged it was interesting working with Burrow, especially knowing which team was expected to draft him, and is excited for Burrow's opportunity.
“It looks like an amazing opportunity to go in there and turn this thing around. I expect big things out of him this year. I think he is going to come out hot,” said Palmer, who also was with Cincinnati for nearly four seasons of his seven-year NFL career. “The reality is this is a new era. There’s so much new there that I’m just excited and optimistic and I think it can work.”
Palmer was on the Bengals roster during the preseason in 2011 when Andy Dalton was selected in the second round and became the starter. Players could not have contact with coaches that off-season due to the lockout, but Palmer was one of the players who organized workouts.
Dalton was mentored by Palmer during the workouts as both tried to get up to speed with the playbook of Jay Gruden, who was going into his first season as offensive co-ordinator . Palmer was released during training camp, but the May and June workouts ended up benefiting Dalton, who led the Bengals to the playoffs and a 9-7 record.
As a rookie, Dalton completed 58.1% of his passes for 3,398 yards, 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions along with a 80.4 passer rating. Palmer thinks Burrow has the potential to have better statistics because players had the chance to have virtual meetings with coaches during the off-season .
“Joe doesn’t need the catch up to the speed of the game. That’s less valuable than completely understanding the system before you throw your first pass,” Palmer said.
Even though Palmer was released, the experience of trying to learn a playbook on his own and help conduct workouts led to him considering working with other quarterbacks after his playing career ended. Over the past six years, he has done quarterback camps for high school and college athletes. Palmer has also been a part of the predraft training for Burrow, Blake Bortles, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Kyle Allen and Jarrett Stidham.
Many of those relationships began in high school or college when Palmer was helping out at Elite 11 camps.
Palmer is hoping his latest project can help high school and college prospects possibly reach the NFL. He has started the QB Summit Digital Platform, which offers virtual training for young quarterbacks on the finer points of the position while also continuing to do in-person coaching from his home in Southern California.
Palmer said the biggest thing he has learned from coaching is that accountability and confidence are the biggest separators.
“I’ve been just all in on the confidence bucket and continuing to learn different ways to help guys develop confidence because it’s not hereditary. It’s not God-given, it’s a muscle that you have to develop,” he said.
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Joe Reedy, The Associated Press