|The plan is to get Palmer up to speed ASAP. (US PRESSWIRE)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
With the benefit of hindsight, everyone agrees that it was an absolutely horrendous decision by Raiders head coach Hue Jackson to put Carson Palmer on the field last week against the Chiefs. Palmer, like Kyle Boller before him, threw three interceptions, including a pick-six. More than that, he looked a lot like the guy who led the Bengals to four wins last year and opted for retirement in the offseason instead of returning to the circus that had become Cincinnati.
When Jackson traded two first-round picks for Palmer last week, the thinking was that while Palmer upgraded the position, there was no reason to rush him onto the field. He didn't know the playbook or the players, and he was out of football for nine months. Factors that invariably led to what you saw Sunday against Kansas City.
"This football team is not going to blink," Jackson said after the game. "We've got to play better. We've got to play better offensively. I take full responsibility, because this is a team that I lead, and we didn't play like the Raiders can play."
Appearing on KNBR radio this week, Jackson was asked if he mishandled the quarterback situation last Sunday.
“No I don’t think so," he said, via SportsRadioInterview.com. "I know everybody keeps saying that last week I was making it about Carson Palmer. I think any time you put a player on your team like Carson Palmer, who was the first player drafted by Cincinnati and you put him on your team, I’m not the one that calls all the media to talk about him. My focus was to get my team ready. I never once said Carson Palmer was gonna start. I said we were gonna see if we could get him off and running. That means he’s off his couch, now he’s practicing with his teammates, getting to know his teammates, and that was it. I never once said he was gonna start, play, or anything.
"My goal was to get him back into practice mode, getting him back to throwing the football, and obviously he needed to practice a little bit with his teammates and that’s what he did. There was never any question in my mind what needed to happen. Kyle (Boller) needed to start. He knew the system, he knew the players, and I think that’s what everybody thought. Everybody else wanted to make a big deal about here he is, he should be playing, and because you put him on the team he needs to start.”
Jackson also admits that Palmer looked rusty (“Yes he did and deservedly so.") and understood that he would face adversity for the decision this week ("I already knew this was coming").
Not to worry, though. The loss to the Chiefs changes nothing. Palmer is still the future and the plan is to get him in the starting lineup as soon as possible.
"I’m not concerned exactly where we’re going because I know where we’re going. My concern was how we come out of this very quickly coming out of the bye. Make sure we have a very solid plan, get Carson up to speed, get him up to speed with this offense as fast as we can, and then let’s move forward.”
Mark your calendars: the Raiders host the Broncos on November 6. That's right: Carson versus Tebow. Pretty sure no one predicted that when the season began.
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