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New Bills QB Jordan Palmer participates in first practice

New Bills QB Jordan Palmer participates in first practice Jordan Palmer was released by the Chicago Bears on Sunday. (Getty Images)


By Milt Northrop

News Sports Reporter

Wearing jersey No. 5, Jordan Palmer, the newest Buffalo Bills backup quarterback, went through his first practice with the team Tuesday on the grass field outside the field house at One Bills Drive. The team announced the signing of the 30-year-old veteran today.

In the portion of the practice open to the media, Palmer went through the routine footwork and ballhandling drills with the other QBs, EJ Manuel and Jeff Tuel, under the watchful eye of quarterbacks coach Todd Downing.

Throwing to backs and receivers against air, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Palmer showed a quick release, a lively arm and good accuracy in admittedly a soft first test. He had two very catchable balls dropped.

Palmer was the starting quarterback for his final three seasons at UTEP and holds several Miners passing records set under veteran coach Mike Price from 2004-06. They included season passing yards (3,595), season completion percentage (65.7) as well as career marks for completion percentage (59.6) and 300-yard passing games (16). In his career at UTEP he pass for 95 touchdowns and 11,041 yards.

After all that activity, the younger brother of 2002 Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer has seen almost no regular season game action in the NFL in his seven seasons since Washington made him a sixth-round selection in 2007.

Palmer never has started an NFL game and has played in only four games, in 2008 and 2010 with the Cincinnati Bengals. He's completed 10 of 15 passes for 59 yards and two touchdowns in that sparse action. He also has been with Jacksonville and Chicago, which cut him last weekend in favor of Jimmie Clausen as the backup to Jay Cutler.

His never having started a actual NFL game probably makes Bills followers nervous. Though it is ancient history, no regular season starts on Palmer's resume is the same number Frank Reich had in four seasons before he replaced the injured Jim Kelly for three games in the middle of the 1989 season. Buffalo won all three.

Before that season, Reich had played in only seven games and completed 10 of 20 throws for 123 yards and no touchdowns.

  • Paul Kawalerski

    Palmer had two interceptions during that time, not touchdowns.

  • cheektowaga

    "Miners passing records set under veteran coach Mike Price "

    Jordan may be the new qb - coach --- assistant to the coach qb coach.
    Jordan will NOT have the luxury of a veteran offense coach in Buffalo.

  • Wayne Lester

    This means nothing to improving the team... it's just another ploy to divert attention from the fact that we have no starting qb and no hope of making the playoffs.
    The only way we can get our Bills team back on track to the playoffs and away from the 4-12 season we are on pace for this season is to make the voice of the Bills fan heard where it will be heard the loudest... in the pockets of the greedy NFL. If YOU keep paying to watch a Bills team that hasn't made the playoffs in 15 years... then thats all YOU will ever see... while the NFL laughs all the way to the bank... with YOUR money.
    "You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe (like EJ will take us to the playoffs). You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole (playoff drought) goes.”
    A Bills Fan Since 1978.

    THE Doug Marone/ Nathaniel Hackett/ EJ Manuel Experiment is over and the current Bills management has failed us. We, the Buffalo Bills fans are offically protesting by refusing to pay the NFL to see an inferior football team, which has given our good city of Buffalo and the surrounding subburbs a bad reputation throughout the USA.
    A Bills Fan.
    To join this protest, like this comment... and don't forget to spread the word.

  • bill

    you keep drafting QB's over and over til you find your next jim kelly and we have not been doing that

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.