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Q+A Carson Palmer

Aug. 04, 2003
Aug. 04, 2003

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Aug. 4, 2003

Sports Illustrated Bonus Section
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Q+A Carson Palmer

USC's Heisman-winning quarterback, and the top pick in this
year's draft, is now with the Bengals in Kentucky at his first
NFL training camp.

This is an article from the Aug. 4, 2003 issue Original Layout

SI: Any rookie hazing?

Palmer: Actually, I've been very lucky. But training camp is
starting, and I'm going to have to get myself mentally focused
for something crazy.

SI: What's the wackiest thing you've heard a rookie quarterback
has had to endure lately?

Palmer: The Ravens make you sing a lot, and I've heard some teams
tie you up naked to the goalposts or throw you into an ice bath.

SI: This will be the first time in many years you won't be a
starting quarterback. How difficult will that be?

Palmer: It's going to be tough. I'm used to being on the field,
in the middle of the action. But I think it'll be good to learn
from the sideline and absorb as much as I can watching
[first-stringer Jon] Kitna play.

SI: Now that you're a Cincinnati guy, you need to weigh in on
Pete Rose. Does he belong in the Hall of Fame?

Palmer: Tough question, but I think he does. Whether he gambled
or not, he was one of the greatest players.

SI: Do you believe there's a Heisman Trophy jinx?

Palmer: No, I'm not worried. I'm asked about it, but people also
said there was a bowl game jinx for Heisman quarterbacks, and we
won our bowl game.

SI: Where is the Heisman right now?

Palmer: In a box, being shipped to Cincinnati.

SI: You struggled at Southern Cal before your senior season. Did
you wonder if success would come?

Palmer: I never dreamed of going to a BCS bowl, winning the
Heisman. I knew if I kept working, I'd be successful. But I never
thought that successful.

SI: On July 5 you married your college sweetheart, Shaelyn
Fernandes, at a ceremony in Pebble Beach. Anyone in the wedding
party play 18 holes afterward?

Palmer: Oh, I only wish. But my quarterbacks coach in college did
sneak out during the reception. He had a sand wedge in his car,
and I think he got a couple of holes in. --Richard Deitsch

COLOR PHOTO: JOE ROBBINS/ICON SMI (PALMER)

For more from Carson Palmer, go to si.com/scorecard.