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Jordan Palmer steps up for Bengals while brother seeks trade

CINCINNATI -- Quarterback Jordan Palmer is gathering Bengals offensive players for offseason workouts in California, assuming his brother's role as the team leader.

Palmer told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday that he'll host most of the Bengals' receivers, tight ends and running backs next week. They'll work out at Palmer's high school in Mission Viejo.

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"I've got them staying in a hotel, got a trainer and everything set up for them," Palmer said. "It should be good and take some steps in the right direction. It's my first thing, really, as a leader. I want to be the guy, so I'm just trying to do those things."

Palmer is the backup to brother Carson Palmer, who has threatened to retire if he's not traded. Bengals owner Mike Brown has refused the trade request, leaving the sides at an impasse while the NFL and players try to reach a new collective bargaining agreement during the league-imposed lockout.

Jordan Palmer was promoted to No. 2 quarterback last season. He hasn't had any conversations with the Bengals about his future if Carson Palmer leaves.

"I'm going to prepare like I'm the starter until somebody tells me I'm not," Jordan Palmer said. "If you're the backup and the starter gets hurt or is traded or retires, you're next in line. That's the natural progression."

The Bengals could take a quarterback in the draft next week, which would change the dynamic at the position. Currently, they have the two Palmers and Dan LeFevour, a former Central Michigan quarterback claimed off waivers from the Chicago Bears last year.

"A lot could change with my situation next week," Jordan Palmer said.

The Bengals fired offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski after their 4-12 season, replacing him with Jay Gruden. The impasse over a collective bargaining agreement prevents Gruden from coaching the players, so Jordan Palmer and his teammates will work on what little they know of the new scheme.

"We're going to throw and talk about the new offense a little bit, the little we've got -- concepts and stuff," Palmer said. "It should be good."

Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco were the Bengals' top receivers last season. Owens is a free agent who won't be back. Ochocinco has one year left on his deal but could be released. Neither will be at the workouts next week.

"I think everybody's kind of assuming they're not going to be back," Jordan Palmer said.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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