Oakland Raiders: "Nation" Needs to Show Faith and Patience With Carson Palmer
Terrell White – Aug 25, 2012
Holla At Me Raider Nation!
WOW!! Two pre-season losses and it seems like almost everyone is running around yelling "The sky is falling!!!" "The sky is falling!!!"
It appears that some of us have forgotten crack commandment number 14: Pre-season results have little bearing on what a team does in the regular season.
How many times have we seen a team go undefeated in the pre-season, only to go on and have a terrible regular season? Conversely how many times have we seen a team that had a terrible pre-season go on to have a great regular season, and a playoff run?
It happens every year!! (And this one will be no different!)
For our Oakland Raiders this pre-season is not one that the team can use to build upon what they did last season. The Raiders are not in the same situation as teams such as the Giants, the 49ers, or even the New York Jets.
The pre-season MUST be used to implement our new systems; We've got a new head coach, a new offensive coordinator, a new defensive coordinator and a new special teams coach, (in case you forgot).
Oakland isn't just dealing with a new staff and management either. The Raiders are not a team loaded with battle tested NFL veterans. Therefore the staff not only has to deal with implementing their new systems, they have the added pressure of having to evaluate our new player personnel.
Moreover, forget about the fact that we've got new free agents and rookies that will need time to not only understand the game of football, but what the Raiders are looking to accomplish. Remember that our starting quarterback and our starting running back didn't play one game together last season! Chemistry throughout the team is going to need to be developed, and that's what the pre-season is for.
Any discussion about the offense has to start with quarterback Carson Palmer.
I've been hearing some chatter about replacing Carson Palmer with Matt Lineart; To this I say: What, are you CRAZY?!
Don't let what happened last season effect how you view this season. Now, I'm sure that I don't need to recap what happened last year. We all remember the loss of Jason Campbell; we remember that Oakland was looking like a very strong playoff team before Jason was lost to a season ending injury.
Moreover, with Oakland, (minus Al Davis) paying the Bengals asking price, and still having a pretty solid team Raider Nation was hoping that Oakland would be able to adjust quickly, (to the loss of Jason Campbell) and continue down the playoff path. Of course all this changed once we lost Darren McFadden, (the very next week).
Needless to say, despite losing both our starting quarterback, and starting running back we all remember how close, (yet still so far) we came to winning the division, and making the playoffs.
I know that Raider Nation was, and is, hoping (expecting) for big things from Carson. I'm also sure that I don't need to mention (but I will anyway) how Carson Palmer has disappointed some (a lot) by throwing an obscene number of interceptions since joining the team.
Many of the problems with Carson Palmer (I believe) had to be attributed to the fact that Carson was home on his couch watching football when he got the call from Oakland to come and play. The mental adjustment from being home, sitting on the sofa to playing for the Oakland Raiders no less was just too much for him (as it would be for MANY quarterbacks) to make—especially with no training camp or off season workouts to speak of.
Furthermore, we need to try and remember that one of the reasons why we lost Jason Campbell to injury in the first place was due to the fact that our offensive line couldn't protect him, (or anyone else that we had playing quarterback).
Therefore, when Carson joined the team it's not like he was standing behind a great offensive line that was going to allow him all day to find receivers to throw the ball to!
Speaking of receivers.
It's not like Oakland had a confirmed number one target. Carson Palmer didn't have a Calvin Johnson, or a Larry Fitzgerald at wide out (while D.H.B. is looking like he could be a number one - he's still a work in progress) to throw the ball to. Furthermore he didn't have a Jason Witten at tight end as Tony Romo does, to look to when things start to break down in the pocket.
So, now let's recap: No protection up front, no number one wide receiver, no starting running back, and no tight end. It's not like Carson was walking into a "dream job". Moreover, it's not like the defenses Oakland was going up against weren't aware of the situation the Raiders, and Carson Palmer were facing.
Flashing forward to the present, with it being the pre-season I would hope (and expect) that the team would use this time to work out any, and all issues.
Speaking of the pre-season.
We have a new system(s) and everyone one on the team is going to have to adjust. This is easier offensively for Matt Lineart as opposed to Carson Palmer because it's a variation of the system that was run in Houston.
Matt Lineart isn't a better quarterback then Carson Palmer. Matt Lineart has a slightly better understanding of the offensive system so he appears to be a better quarterback. However, as we all know: Appearances can be (and often are) deceiving.
It's easy to look like a "star" in the pre-season. Matt Leinart I'm sure makes a great pre-season quarterback. However, when we start playing with LIVE AMMUNITION I'm not trusting Matt Leinart over Carson Palmer.
With Oakland headed into preseason game number three I would expect for the team to continue it's trend of playing intelligent football. Moreover I would look for better performances from Carson and the starting team as a whole.
The pre-season is practice. It's time to work out any offensive (and defensive) issues. It's a time when you try new plays. It's when you find out who's going to make the team. It's not the time to panic.
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