Carson Palmer on Raiders: 'I think we're a playoff team'

Palmer likes Oakland's chances in 2012. (AP)

Carson Palmer, like every other sports celebrity in the known world, was in Lake Tahoe this weekend for the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship. And like every other sports celebrity in the known world, he was asked questions when he came off the course.

Naturally, Alex Flanagan of NBC hit up Palmer about the Raiders and used a Facebook question from a fan to find out if Dennis Allen's new system would keep the Raiders from making a run a the postseason. Palmer doesn't think so, and called his squad "a playoff team."

"I think we're a playoff team," Palmer said. "We've got a lot of work to do, but we've been at it in OTAs and minicamps and now training camp is around the corner. Guys have been studying hard and it's go time. There is no cushion or a year to get stuff going. We're ready to come into camp and go out and win as many games as we can."

The projections for the Raiders are all over the place. I'm a little bearish on them, because of the drastic changes they made on defense and a lack of impact talent they were able to acquire this offseason. My CBSSports.com colleague Pete Prisco thinks they're winning eight games. Clark Judge sounds skeptical in his season preview. Pat Kirwan loves the offense.

And, of course, so does Carson Palmer.

"Exciting," Palmer said when asked to describe the offense. "With Darren McFadden on the field and an offensive line that is hungry, they're going to open up great holes for him. And then a lot of speed on the outside, really fast receivers with a lot of play-action stuff. To have a chance to play for Coach Knapp, I'm excited. He's a very explosive offensive mind and he likes to go after it, he's not going to hold back."

Interestingly, Palmer was asked whether or not the Raiders would be a passing or running attack, and the quarterback's response was a little surprising given that the Raiders just lost their best backup in Michael Bush.

"Run offense," Palmer said. "With McFadden in the backfield you've got to give him his touches. He's got to get his opportunities, because he can put his foot in the ground and get upfield. He can go the distance from anywhere on the field."

McFadden's one of the best backs in football -- when he's healthy. If he can't stay on the field, the Raiders are going to have serious problems scoring points, regardless of how much speed they have at wide receiver.

And the bigger concern should be the AFC West. The Chargers should improve from last year assuming Philip Rivers doesn't repeat his 2011 struggles, the Broncos added Peyton Manning and will be better, and the Chiefs should see a tick up in their win total just based on injury.

It's a pretty wide-open division and Palmer could certainly end up being right. And there's certainly nothing surprising about someone expressing confidence in their squad before the season begins. Just don't expect that everyone will be on the same page as Palmer.

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CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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