Wilcots: Bengals Fans Need To Support Their Quarterbacks Better

By CBS Sports Radio

Earlier this month, Solomon Wilcots dropped by The DA Show and spoke at length about Carson Palmer’s tenure in Cincinnati and what it could mean for Joe Burrow, the presumptive No. 1 pick in the draft. Wilcots said that the Bengals “sucked the life” out of Palmer, which was the main takeaway for listeners who potentially didn’t hear the entire interview.

Wilcots clarified his remarks Friday.

“I said I saw the life sucked out of him, but I saw that because of things that happened off the field, not because of things that happened with the football team,” Wilcots said on The DA Show. “I thought the team was very supportive of Carson Palmer. There’s no doubt the Cincinnati Bengals want to win a Super Bowl. You go back to the last decade, they went to the postseason five out of the last 10 years. We can find other teams that have been absent from the postseason much more than the Bengals have in recent history.”

Wilcots played for the Bengals from 1987 to 1990. He knows the franchise quite well, and he knows Palmer quite well.

“I was supportive of Carson because when fans drove to his home and violate his property and make his wife and children feel unsafe, that’s crossing the line,” Wilcots said. “That’s going above crossing that line into becoming very creepy, and that affected him. That was a tipping point for him. I want to see fans be more supportive. I want to see them be supportive of Carson Palmer. I wanted to see them support Andy Dalton better. They jeered and criticized him and booed him at a charity softball game.”

Yes, that actually happened.

“Here’s a guy giving of his own free time to support a community function to raise funds for the community, and the community boos him because they don’t know how to separate how they feel about him as a quarterback and what he’s doing in his private time to raise money to help charitable causes,” Wilcots said. “So I want to see the community and the fans be more supportive and I want to see them support Joe Burrow more than they did the last two quarterbacks.”

Of course, there has been speculation that Burrow doesn’t want to play in Cincinnati and may try to force a trade. 

“Joe Burrow has never said he doesn’t want to be a Bengal,” Wilcots said. “I think he does. I know the team wants him. I think the team would love to have him. I can’t speak for the Bengals in that sense, but he put forth the best college football season we’ve seen from a college quarterback in recent history. So I think the two would be a great marriage, but I want to see the fans be more supportive of Joe Burrow than they were of Carson Palmer and than they were of Andy Dalton.”

The Bengals made the playoffs seven times in 11 years between 2005 and 2015, including five seasons in a row. They went 0-7 in those playoff games, however, and it appears some Bengals fans have lost hope.

“I don’t know what happened there,” Wilcots said. “I don’t know what has caused the fans to maybe not fully embrace a Carson Palmer or not fully embrace an Andy Dalton. . . . I thought Carson Palmer was as talented as any quarterback they’ve ever had. Andy Dalton statistically has performed better than any Cincinnati Bengal quarterback that has ever played in terms of wins, in terms of passing yards. He [took] them to five straight postseasons. No quarterback had ever done that. 

“I think [Palmer and Dalton] could have been treated better,” Wilcots continued, “and I just think it needs to be called out much in the same way when Sam Wyche says, ‘Hey, you live in Cincinnati.’ What he was saying is, ‘We’re better than that.’ Maybe they needed a reminder then when he said that because I was playing in a game when he did that. That’s kind of what I’m doing. I’m calling for Bengals fans to be more supportive. If Joe Burrow is going to come here and play, let’s do a better job of supporting him than we did with Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton.”