|Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer returns to Cincinnati on Sunday for what figures to be an emotional game against his former team. (US Presswire)|
Palmer spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Bengals, who drafted him first overall in 2003 out of USC. But last year, he told the Bengals he would retire if they wouldn't trade him. Palmer spent the first six weeks of the 2011 season on his couch before then Raiders coach Hue Jackson orchestrated a trade for Palmer, two days after quarterback Jason Campbell suffered what turned out to be a season-ending broken collarbone against Cleveland.
Jackson, who was a Bengals receivers coach from 2004-06, was fired by Oakland after last season and returned to Cincinnati, where he's now an assistant secondary/special teams coach.
Palmer talked Monday about his return to Cincinnati and the 3-7 Raiders' recent struggles.
What are your feelings about going back to Cincinnati?
"I'm excited. You spend a certain amount of time somewhere, it's always a little bit different going back. More importantly, we have to get a win. It's been a rough environment. Any time you lose, it's a rough environment. Having lost a couple, we got to get back on a winning track. It's a good opportunity to go on the road, go on a long trip and kind of break that spell we've had for a while and get back in the win column."
Will it be strange to see Hue across the field?
"Yeah, I think so. I don't know. You can try to guess or assume how something is going to feel. But to see him over there, I'm not sure if he's on the field or up in the box, but it will be good to see him once again. ... Hue and I have talked a number of times since everything went down last year. I'm looking forward to seeing him."
Are you curious to see the fans' reaction?
"I have a pretty good feeling how that's going to go. We'll wait and see Sunday at 1."
Coach (Dennis) Allen said the key was making sure the team didn't fragment. Are you confident that won't happen?
"His message was really good, spoken from a guy who's been around. Been on good teams, been on bad teams and been in the middle. I think this team will respond very well to his message. We have to stick together. I don't think that's an issue. This is a good group of guys that comes to work every day, wants to get better, doesn't dread practicing. We know we need to get better."
Mark Davis says team has regressed. Do you agree?
"I think in some areas we have. I think in some areas we made improvements. I think consistency has been our biggest Achilles' heel. We've put together great plays or a great quarter or a great half on every side of the ball. But consistently doing it -- the teams that win consistently in this league play consistently well four quarters of the game. That's something we haven't done."
What's your stance on why you wanted to leave Cincinnati?
"I'm not going to dive back into that. To me, this is three seasons later, two seasons later. That was in the past. I'm here now. I don't want to dive into that."
Follow Raiders reporter Eric Gilmore on Twitter @CBSRaiders.