|Carson Palmer seems happy with his new playbook. (Getty)|
In October, Hue Jackson thought he was making the greatest trade in the history of trades when the Raiders sent a first-round pick in 2012 and a conditional pick for 2013 to Cincinnati in exchange for estranged Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer.
While Palmer had his moments in 2011, the Raiders still allowed Tim Tebow and the Broncos to claim the AFC West title, and after new Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie fired Jackson -- who coincidentally is now working in Cincinnati -- he brought in former Oakland defensive coordinator Dennis Allen to lead the team.
So, what now becomes of Palmer, who won’t have to compete with former Raiders quarterbacks Jason Campbell and Kyle Boller and whose backups for now are Terrelle Pryor and Rhett Bomar? Well, it sounds like he’s pretty excited about the future, especially since he’s started studying the new playbook.
“I think it’s really going to fit the personnel we have,” Pamler said, via the Contra Costa Times. “The style of play with the offensive line and the zone running scheme, and the speed we have in the backfield, it’s built for making a read, making one cut, and getting vertical and putting pressure on the defense with our speed and our running backs just heading north when they find the hole in that zone.
“I spent time talking with Darren (McFadden) and Taiwan Jones about it, and obviously the running game is going to be big for the Oakland Raiders this year. And what comes off the running game is really cool. All the play-action stuff really utilizes what we have on the outside. There’s not a lot of routes where guys are stopping. They’re using their speed, they’re on the move. It’s going to fit the strong suits of a lot of guys we have on offense, including myself.”
After not playing half the season while staying away from the Bengals locker room (and after looking awfully mediocre the final years of his stay in Cincinnati), we were interested to see if Palmer could be reborn in Oakland.
And while he had some good moments while replacing Boller in the starting lineup (like beating the Chargers in a Thursday night game), Palmer also had plenty of tough moments (like when colleague Ryan Wilson called him “Carson Boller”) as the team fell short of the postseason.
But hey, maybe the new playbook will be what resurrects Palmer’s career and shoots him back into the category of top-10 quarterbacks. Especially since the Raiders still have speed, so when Palmer inevitably checks down and hits a running back -- which seems to be a decent-sized portion in the new playbook -- Oakland’s running backs could help increase Palmer’s numbers and his effectiveness.
“A lot of things quarterbacks are asked to do in this offense are strengths of mine,” Palmer said. “There are a lot of naked bootlegs and I’ve always focused on working on that. I did so much of it in college and I’m excited to do more of it now. I haven’t done it a ton (in the NFL), but it’s something I’m comfortable doing.”
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