- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 5, 2007

Jordan Palmer, younger brother of Cincinnati Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer, could’ve coasted on his name. Or the younger Palmer could’ve rejected everything to do with his famous brother and not even played quarterback. But neither of those approaches is his style.

“I’ve made it this far, so [being Carson’s brother] has definitely helped,” Palmer — taken by Washington in the sixth round of last weekend’s NFL Draft — said yesterday as the Redskins opened their rookie minicamp. “If it was going to be a hindrance, it would’ve stopped me a long time ago. He’s a good guy to be in the same sentence with. He’s not getting busted or having problems on or off the field. We’re brothers way before we’re quarterbacks.”

That brotherly love was evident in Carson taking time from having fun at the Kentucky Derby to call Jordan last night to see how his first day of camp went.

When the brothers were growing up in Mission Viejo, Calif., and Jordan was running routes for Carson, there was no question that there were going to be two quarterbacks in the Palmer family.

“I played receiver until my junior year of high school, but gangly white dudes don’t have a big future at other positions,” the 6-foot-5, 231-pound Palmer said. “I knew if I was going to play, I was going to play quarterback. Growing up, I didn’t get into Carson’s playbook, but it helped watching him. His work ethic, his coachability, his toughness, mentally and physically — that’s why he’s great.”

Even though the younger Palmer wants to be his own man, he prides himself on his work ethic, too.

“I’ve seen a lot of really talented players who never did anything,” Palmer said. “I’m a work ethic guy, on and off the field. Great coaches like this can turn somebody like that into a good player. I wasn’t as accurate as I wanted to be today. It was a new offense, new guys, but still I wasn’t putting it exactly where I wanted to put it. Carson has the best mechanics in the league. Mechanics doesn’t have to do with how tall you are, how talented you are, your coaches. If you have bad mechanics, it’s due to laziness. If you have great mechanics, it’s due to attention to detail. Carson has that. So do I.”

Quarterback coach Bill Lazor was more excited by Palmer’s college numbers — he has most of Texas-El Paso’s passing records — and his mental game than by his strong arm or good size.

“When a guy’s that productive and he’s got all the physical tools, you’ve got to bet that he’s got something,” Lazor said. “And when you watch the way Jordan operated his offense, you could tell he was doing what he was supposed to do. Jordan’s arm helped him be successful in high school and college. What he started to learn today is that a big arm won’t make him successful here. It’s going to be intelligence, anticipation, knowing exactly where guys are going to be and how to throw the ball on time to where it’s supposed to be.”

Although the Redskins seem committed to 25-year-old Jason Campbell, who started the last seven games last season, backups Mark Brunell and Todd Collins are on the wrong side of 35. So even though Lazor noted how hard it can be to beat out a veteran, there’s room for a young passer with a future.

“There’s a little bit of a light coming in at the end of the tunnel, [but] like coach [Joe] Gibbs said, there’s no graduating class,” Palmer said. “But I’m not worried about that now. In 20 minutes I have a film session so I can see the mistakes I made and correct those tomorrow. The biggest advice Carson has given me is, ‘One day at a time.’ You start thinking about too many things down the road and off the field and money, it screws you up.”

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