Oakland Raiders: QB Carson Palmer Excited About New Beginning as Team Enters Training Camp
Stuart Kovacs – Aug 2, 2012
Quarterback Carson Palmer is more than ready to begin his first full season with the Oakland Raiders.
After being traded to team from the Cincinnati Bengals this past October, Palmer’s abbreviated 2011 season definitely had its ups and downs.
In ten games with the Raiders, after spending the entire offseason and beginning of the season on his couch, the former Southern California Trojan threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 13 touchdowns.
However, Palmer also threw 16 interceptions and led the team to an unsatisfying 4-6 record in games that he appeared in.
With that being said, Palmer joins his Raiders’ teammates who are all turning the page on the past and beginning a “new era.”
Palmer spoke to the media on Monday about several aspects of the Raiders including the team’s new west coast offense, cohesion with his wide receivers, his offseason preparation, and his relationship with Matt Leinart.
After a year that was filled with a great deal of turmoil, Palmer has a multitude of reasons to be exited for the opening of training camp.
The team has established a new west coast offense under offensive coordinator Greg Knapp which Palmer hopes can lead to better results. He thinks that the team includes a nice mix of young players trying to make a name for themselves as well as veterans who are hungry for success.
“The new offense is so exciting to be a quarterback in with the guys we have around myself, just with the way last year ended with the bitter taste in our mouths. We have a lot to prove, we have a lot of guys that are hungry, a lot of guys that want to make their mark in this league and excited about the opportunities they have in front of them.”
Even as the team is only a few days into training camp, the first-overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft is happy with the progress he has made in terms of cohesion with his wide receivers. However, he realizes that there is still much work to be done.
“Yes, but we have a really long way to go. There’s been things we really connected well on; there’ve been a couple of different routes we have repped so many times that I’m starting to feel comfortable. I’m not completely comfortable until I do a certain route with a certain guy 50, 60, 70 times. I have a long way to go, there are some things we have very few reps on.”
Palmer is excited to once again play in the west coast offensive scheme, which Knapp has instituted. In preparation for the multitude of bootlegs he will have to run, Palmer has worked on both his footwork and speed.
“Four days a week, I would do my conditioning running plays. Obviously it’s different when you have McFadden behind you than when you have Taiwan Jones behind you, and the mesh points with your foot points are off. I worked on that a lot, but until you get in a game situation and you have a tailback behind you and a receiver running the route, there’s no way to replicate that other than running it in practice. I’ve worked tremendously hard on it. I spend a lot of time on it but I have a long way to go just because I need the reps with the guys.”
While he is clearly the Raiders’ starting quarterback, Palmer has greatly benefited from the signing of backup quarterback Matt Leinart.
The fellow Southern California alumni has a good deal of experience working with the west coast offense in his time with Knapp and the Houston Texans. The two have formed a bond which Palmer believes has benefited him in a different way than working with a coach would.
“It has been great, and no disrespect to my quarterbacks coach, Coach Flip [DeFilippo] and Coach Knapp, but it is just different when you hear it from a player for whatever reason. It is just nice to get a coaching point from a player sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes because he has got experience in it.”
In less than a year with the organization, Palmer has already made his mark on the Raiders. The team is counting on him to lead them to a great level of success. Even though the team hasn’t been in training camp for an entire week, Palmer appears to be ready for the challenge.
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