Carson Palmer

Terrell Owens working with Raiders players

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey tweeted an interesting picture with the always controversial Terrell Owens pictured beside other Raider players:




Is Alex Smith This Year’s NFL Playoffs Version of Ben Roethlisberger Circa 2005?

The NFL playoffs are a whole ‘nother beast, as some say. It is a time when players shine or fold, coaches are lauded or vilified, and owners are elated or upset, depending on the outcomes of games. The media also loves to blow storylines way out of proportion and all of the sudden, non-football fans have a vested interest in which team wins.

There is something to be said about rooting for the underdogs. Rocky Balboa, the Americans in the Revolutionary War, Women’s Suffrage, but in a lesser form, the playoffs bring out natural underdogs. This year, that comes in the form of San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith.

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Best NFL Story: Oakland Raiders

Senior Writer Jason Whitney


Is it just me or are the Oakland Raiders being linked together with the rest of the putrid AFC West? We are overlooking the fact that the Oakland Raiders are the NFL’s best story of the season. Sure perennial losers such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, hell even the Buffalo Bills have all had terrific seasons. The difference? All of those teams probably will fall short of the playoffs.

So who does that leave? The San Francisco 49ers? The Houston Texans? Both play in divisions worse than the Raiders. Not to mention both of those teams have had high expectations the last few years. We should expect these seasons from them.

The Raiders have been not just the NFL’s laughing-stock, they have arguably been the worst franchise in sports the last decade (with all apologies to the New York Knicks). From 2003-2010 the Raiders won a combined 37 games, while losing 102 during that span. One could say those stats were inflated from last years 8-8 campaign which felt like a Super Bowl season for die-hard silver and black fans.

Then comes this offseason. Turmoil with the CBA, Tom Cable told thanks for the solid job but hit the bricks, and then the loss of their best player Nnamdi Asomugha. If that wasn’t enough they had one of their only receiving weapons in tight end Zack Miller flee to Seattle. Basically the foundation of their improvement gone.

Fast forward to this season, with expectations not much better than 7-8 wins the Raiders jumped out to a 4-2 record that probably should have been 5-1 had it not been for a late game breakdown against the aforementioned Buffalo Bills.

During this 6-game span not one, but two more set backs would happen. First the death of Al Davis who was the only owner the franchise ever knew. Say what you will about Davis, he was an instrumental part of making the NFL what it is today. Also, Al Davis was the face of the Oakland Raiders. They lost their leader.

Then comes the second set-back; the loss of quarterback Jason Campbell. Who previously never quite lived up to expectations but never was in a stable situation. In fact this was the first time Campbell played in the same offensive system longer than a year since high school. That’s amazing.

With no real general manager in place, coach Hue Jackson would take reigns of personnel decisions and be the heavy voice in the room as the Raiders made the bold play for Carson Palmer. Many say the Raiders gave up too much for the soon to be 32 year-old quarterback.

Things would continue to go south as three days after signing the former Pro Bowl quarterback, Palmer would be thrust into the second half of the Chiefs game, as Kyle Boller gave the Raiders no choice with his pathetic first half performance.

Following a horrific home loss to the Chiefs, the Raiders blew a 10-point home lead to the Tim Tebow led Broncos as the Raiders would lose that game as well. Two terrible losses had Raider nation questioning everything about the team.

Then came the turning point of the season for silver and black. Thursday night football returned as the Raiders went into San Diego and beat what many experts have called one of the most talented team in the NFL. Underachievers maybe, but going into San Diego and beating the favored Chargers is no easy task for any team, much less the banged up Raiders minus Darren Mcfadden.

Flash forward to last week in what many NFL “experts” and personalities such as the former Oakland Raider general manager Mike Lombardi would be quoted as saying “I can see the Vikings beating Oakland this Sunday.” Well the Raiders jumped on them early and hung on for the 27-21 win.

Now 6-4 and atop the AFC west, coupled with key injuries to the Texans (over whom the Raiders who own the tie-breaker), and suddenly the Raiders are in a favorable place to land the 3-seed in the AFC Playoffs. The Chicago Bears come to town, but without their starting quarterback, Jay Cutler.

With every remaining game being a favorable matchup except for week 14 tilt at Green Bay, the Raiders could set themselves up for an 11-5 season and possibly a home playoff game. Of course it’s still the Raiders, and nothing is set in stone as we have already seen a capricious season take place.

Why not the Raiders? A decade long torture has set this team up to be this season’s Cinderella. If all comes to fruition, what better way than to end this crazy season with an old traditional bad-ass franchise coming out on top? Al Davis will be looking down watching, and smiling.

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Can Carson Palmer Revive His Career?

Written By: Andy Flint

Carson Palmer has been given a golden opportunity to hit the refresh button. This opportunity is much like the opportunity Michael Vick was given during the 2010 NFL campaign. The question here is. Can Carson Palmer revive his career?

Sure, Palmer’s story differs dramatically from that of Michael Vick. Palmer didn’t do anything illegal, nor did he spend any time in a federal penitentiary. But like Vick, Palmer has been collecting dust on a shelf somewhere. The one thing we do know about Palmer since the end of last season is this… He hasn’t been playing professional football.

He hasn’t had practices at the pro level, no training camps, and he certainly hasn’t been game tested in what seems like forever. Well that was until week 7 rolled around. Palmer found his way on to the field after a less than stellar start by Kyle Boller. Darren McFadden suffered an early injury and Kyle Boller played like, well, Kyle Boller. That led to the premature introduction of the Carson Palmer era in Oakland. We all saw the game, and we know a few things from watching.

A) Carson Palmer threw 3 interceptions. B) He claims that he only had a handful of plays to work with (due to only being with the team for just a few days). A claim that nobody seemed to challenge. C) This guys still has a cannon! Now my assessment of Palmers 3 picks is pretty simple. The first one was a bad read. Brandon Flowers baited Palmer into doing exactly what a seasoned QB wouldn’t normally do. Pick number 2 was the receiver’s fault. Catch the football! And the 3rd interception just looked to be a ball that sailed a bit.

I think Carson Palmer can still be a dangerous guy. Nobody is arguing with the fact that this Oakland Raiders team looks better than the Bengals were last season. I feel that Jason Campbell was never going to be Oakland’s long-term QB option. The guy doesn’t seem to have the tools to lead a Super Bowl team. The verdict is still out on Carson Palmer. There is no question that Carson Palmer was considered to be an élite QB back from 2005 to 2007, where he threw for a combined 12,002 yards, piled up 86 TD’s and tacked on just 45 interceptions.

Palmer suffered a devastating injury to his throwing elbow in 2008 and seemingly derailed his career in the process. Spats with head coach, Marvin Lewis, and Bengals owner,  Mike Brown, led to Palmer ultimately saying “trade me or I retire” after the 2010 NFL season. Carson Palmer seemed to hold all of cards in the dispute, until Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, along with a phenomenal defensive effort has the Cincinnati Bengals flying high in the AFC during 2011.

Now Mike Brown could ice Palmer and enjoy not rewarding his diva antics by trading him. Things seemed to be looking very bad for Carson, as he was stuck in between a rock and  hard place. He was locked into the losing side of a pissing match with an NFL owner that wasn’t going to budge. That is until the Raiders lost Jason Campbell for the season and were in desperate need to keep the train rolling, following a nice start to the season.

Oakland needed an answer and they knew Kyle Boller wasn’t it. They had options such as the unemployed David Garrard, or Kyle Orton. Instead they chose to pursue Carson Palmer. The Raiders brass must have considered Palmer their best option, seeing as Orton and Garrard were both cheaper than a 2012 first rounder and a 2013 conditional pick. The 2013 pick can become a first rounder based on playing time and incentives. Personally, I would have given them a 3rd rounder and still felt like I got held up.

I really do think that Palmer can provide this Oakland club exactly what it has needed and been missing since Rich Gannon was under center. But at the same time. This move comes with way more risk than what I’d be willing to take on as a General Manager. Frankly, these are the kinds of moves than generally send someone packing. On the flip-side of this coin, Mike Brown looks like a genius. And depending on what these picks garner, they could very well make Bengals fans forget how incompetent Brown has been as an owner.

The Fact remains that Carson Palmer is 31 years old. He’s had a serious injury on his throwing arm, and he’s cried endlessly as a Bengal. Sometimes as a coach, owner or GM, you must weigh certain pros and cons in your mind and analyze the situation a bit more thoroughly before making such a hasty decision. While I do like the move to bring Palmer to Oakland. I’m not sure I, or anyone else can stand by the coin Oakland paid to get this guy in silver and black. It may have come at the price of their future. A future that could be very bright with two high draft picks. I will say that Carson has been granted the liberty of a tremendous running game, and a capable defense. He’ll also have a some speedy WR’s at his disposal as a Raider, so the ball is in his court to deliver!

Palmer unlikely to start Sunday for Raiders

OAKLAND, CA.ESPN broke the news today that newly acquired Raider, quarterback Carson Palmer, is “unlikely” to start Sunday against Kansas City.

No immediate reason was given, but some are citing his inactivity and conditioning as the reasons. We are more likely to see Palmer hit the field after the bye week next Sunday, so he has time to get re-acclimated to NFL game speed.

This is surprising, as coach Hue Jackson stated earlier this week: “if he’s breathing, he’s starting.”

This leaves two options for the Raiders Sunday at QB, career backup Kyle Boller and Ohio State rookie Terrelle Pryor.

Jim Harbaugh has a really firm handshake (and other notes)

Columnist: Pat Nicoloff

A statement win wasn’t enough for the freshly-swaggered Jim Harabaugh in MoTown. He gave Jim Schwartz a slap on the back and an obscenity to go with it. Schwartz decided that wasn’t quite how things were going to go down after a split second of recollection. As you’ve seen, he decided to go make it a two-way conversation. Who knows what would have happened if big Anthony Davis and company hadn’t jogged into the middle. Shocking exchange from a rookie head coach with Alex Smith as his only viable option at quarterback.

Those kinds of things are cute stories when you’re coaching in Stanford late on a Saturday night. That’s not really the case in the big boys league. This is going to be analyzed 100 times an hour in the next couple days by local radio and right on up SportsCenter. And I don’t think any fellow NFL coaches are going to be looking too kindly at the former Stanford ball coach. There’s going to be a lot of guys, especially friends of Schwartz, that want to put a whipping of humbling proportions on the elder Harbaugh. He’s essentially just put a target on the back of a team that was flying smoothly under the proverbial radar. So much for that. Luckily for San Fran, it’s a bye-week. But when they return from a week of bar-hopping, expect the new-look-9ers to start being looked at more like the old-look-Jets. New shit-talking, piss-offin’ coach on the block. And he’s got a defense again. We’ll see how it holds up.


The Raiders won again after another emotional day with John Madden in town for a Davis dedication. They now sit pretty at 4-2 and have arguably the best back in football. The only problem is in the form of a man known as Kyler…Boller. He’s now holding the reigns to this throwback feeling Raider bunch. And that cannot stand. Terrelle Pryor would obviously take the job soon enough, but do they trust a raw quarterback to keep the ship sailing? I doubt it. Not even the Raiders could convince themselves of that.

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports that the hunt for a new leader is already on. They want the ‘Bungle deserter, Carson Palmer. I have my doubts about Palmer at this juncture, but at least he’s not Kyle Boller. He could also give Oakland a few more weeks to buy time for Pryor to prepare.  Also with no decision-making structure in firm place in Oaktown, they may just be unorganized enough to overpay for the over-the-hill gunslinger. I think a call to Daunte Culpepper may be more logical. They’re going to be a running team no matter who is back there. Peppy would come on the extreme cheap and represent probably a more willing mentor to Pryor. We shall see, but the win comes with panic right on its heels. San Diego is fist-pumping.
The Tampa Bay Bucaneers are the new hot and cold team of the NFL. After getting undressed in San Francisco, they responded with a win over their division foe and Super Bowl-eyeing New Orleans Saints. This with Colston back, and looking spry, and big fella Gerald McCoy in street clothes. N’Awlins drove late only to be stoned by the Tampa D on 4th down in the red zone. The passing game appears to finally be waking up a little bit with Arrelious Benn putting his name back in a box score.

The defense is enough to keep them competitive in Tampa, but if they want to contend for that big shiny silver prize they need to hand the keys of the car to Mr. Freeman and see where he gets them. He’s got all the tools of a franchise guy, but he hasn’t had the reigns totally taken off. Time to let him know it’s his time and his team.  It’s his first 300 yard game of the season and that’s a start.

If Tampa Bay really wants to prove they’re serious they’d spend some of the pile of unspent cash they have compared to the rest of the league. Reggie Wayne can be had and Brandon Lloyd will be stolen by someone. They ought to be a player here. A real threat to draw coverage off of the overwhelmed Mike Williams could be the missing piece. One more guy and they may be ready to dance deep into this quarterback-driven, shoot-out shifting league year.  As is, they can’t really be expected to keep gunning with the big boppers of the NFC. More bullets, please.

A bye week awaits shortly to assimilate any newcomers. Randy Moss has a telephone, too.

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