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Tag:Hue Jackson
Posted on: October 25, 2011 9:57 am
 

Coach Killers, Week 7: Carson Boller, everybody!

Coach Killers is your weekly look around the league at those performances, decisions and "Wait, what did he just do?!" moments that put the guy in charge squarely on the ol' hot seat. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Raiders quarterbacks (take your pick)
Remember Raiders head coach Hue Jackson in the days leading up to the Chargers game, joking about about drinking irish coffee before deciding on his quarterback? He was coy and evasive about whether Carson Palmer would start less than a week after Jackson swapped two first-rounders for him and save Oakland's season. Carson had spent the previous nine months on his couch refusing to play for the Bengals, and while the Raiders was a better situation for him (think about that for a moment), he didn't know the offense or his teammates, and would no doubt be rusty from having taken nearly a year off.

The QB changed, the results didn't (Getty Images)
So when the Raiders took the field Sunday, it was with backup Kyle Boller. Not ideal, but it's what you have to do given the circumstances. What you can't do, no matter how bad things get against a division rival: you absolutely can not bring Palmer in.

First, because, as we've established: HE'S NOT READY. Second, long-suffering Raiders fans have something this October that they haven't possessed in a decade: hope. (The Raiders entered Sunday's game with a 4-2 record. Since 2002, the last time they went to the Super Bowl, Oakland won four games or fewer for an entire season four times. And they haven't had a winning record since 2002.)  After gazing on Palmer in all his unmitigated awfulness, now that's been taken away from them, too.

Jackson panicked. Boller threw three first-half interceptions, the Raiders got down early, and Jackson, perhaps finally realizing that he had mortgaged Oakland's future, decided to get Palmer some work against a Chiefs team that suddenly looked like defending division champs.

Bad idea. Because when Palmer entered the game in the third quarter, he picked up right where Boller left off, tossing three interceptions of his own. And all the talk about the zip on his throws? He must've left that on the practice field, too, because our first glimpse at 2011 Palmer looked a lot like the 2010 Palmer that struggled with the Bengals.

Yes, we get it, that was his first game action since last season. But that's our point: don't even subject him, his fragile psyche and the fans' hopes and dreams to that in the first place. Not now. It's okay to lose convincingly with Boller. People expect it. But to throw Palmer in the mix and to have that happen … well, that's bad. Really, really, bad.

Not to worry, though.

"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."

Um, okay. It gets better (or worse, depending on your perspective).

"We knew they had a quarterback controversy," said the Chiefs' Kendrick Lewis, who pick-sixed Boller's first pass of the afternoon. "We studied film and studied their routes and knew they would have a limited playbook. When we had the opportunity to make big plays and capitalize, that's what we did."

No argument here.


The 4th interception of the day for the Kansas City defense was a pick six off of the newest member of the Oakland Raiders Carson Palmer.

Chargers' two-minute offense
San Diego scored 21 points in the first half against the Jets, and led New York for three and a half quarters. And then, when they needed to score a touchdown with just under two minutes to go, the offense showed all the urgency of a team trying to run out the clock. It was only slightly more inexplicable than the defense's decision to cover Plaxico Burress until he got into the red zone because quarterback Phil Rivers, one of the league's best quarterbacks, is supposed to excel in these late-game situations. Sunday, he did not.

A recap:

* 1:29 on the clock, ball on Chargers' 24-yard line. Rivers to Antonio Gates for 18 yards. Perfect start. We've seen this before, right?

* With no timeouts remaining, Rivers sashays up to the line of scrimmage like it's the first drive of the first quarter. Compounding matters: head coach Norv Turner appears to be in no rush to get the play call into Rivers. Twenty-nine seconds later, the Chargers finally snap the ball. Rivers, perhaps drawing inspiration from Tim Tebow, takes a deep drop before throwing a four-yard pass nowhere near the sidelines. Patrick Crayton makes the catch, the clock continues to run.

* Rivers liked the previous play so much, he runs it again, but only after 46 seconds have elapsed. Seriously.

* On third down, the ball is snapped with 17 seconds left in the game and the Chargers having gained a grand total of 25 yards. Thankfully, Rivers throws the ball a) downfield and b) to the sidelines. It falls incomplete. If nothing else, the clock stops.

* On fourth down, needing 51 yards and with just 11 seconds to do it, the Chargers will undoubtedly call a play that gets them a quick first down and then take one last chance in the end zone. Because, really, they're out of other options at this point, right? Turns out, not exactly. Rivers did something nobody expected: he throws the ball … out of bounds.  And we don't mean in a position near the sideline where only his receiver can make a play. We mean: over the bench, almost into the crowd.

So, yeah, that happened.

"Very disorganized," Tony Dungy said Sunday during NBC's Football Night in America. "You expect more Philip Rivers and that offense." Yes, yes you do, Tony.

Chargers tight end Randy McMichael agrees.

“We had them down and took our foot off the gas,” he said. “I’m not giving credit to anybody. This is our fault. Nothing to do with the play calling … Their secondary isn’t anything. It’s our fault. The guys in this locker room, we lost the game. The San Diego Chargers beat the San Diego Chargers. Nothing to do with the New York Jets. It’s embarrassing.”

Unfortunately, the San Diego Chargers don't get a win and a loss for beating themselves.

Jets cornerback (and former Coach Killers honoree!) Antonio Cromartie had a different take.

"When you're up by 11 points in the fourth quarter, and you can't even finish the game up, that shows what kind of team you are: a team that can't finish," Cromartie told The Newark Star-Ledger. "And that’s been San Diego the whole time. There it is."

And Rex Ryan's response when he was asked about McMichael's comments? "Stay classy, San Diego." We're not kidding.

Week 7 Recap

Kevin Kolb, quarterback, Arizona
You think the Cardinals regret a) trading a second-round pick and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for Kolb, and b) then giving Kolb a $62 million extension? Because we're almost positive Arizona could go 1-5 with pretty much any combination of Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton.

Against the Steelers, Kolb looked like … well, the same dude we saw behind Donovan McNabb in Philly. We were confused when the Cards gave up so much (and then paid so much) to get him in free agency since Kolb hadn't shown that he was anything other than a quality backup and spot starter.

Kolb threw an interception on Arizona's first possession, which led to seven Steelers' points, and he now has just as many TDs as picks (7) this season. He's also completing just 58 percent of his passes, and missing wide-open targets. On Sunday, he short-hopped a ball to tight end Rob Housler on what should've been a first-half touchdown, and the TD pass he did throw -- a 73-yarder to LaRod Stephens-Howling -- was a Tebow special: the ball traveled 10 yards and Stephens-Howling did the heavy lifting for the final 63 yards to the end zone.

As long as we're making comparisons, here's one more: through six games, Kolb is basically Kyle Boller with a permed mullet. This is not a compliment. (Upside: if there's ever a movie about his life, Danny McBride's getting the lead role, though Kenny Powers might have a better arm.)

Like he did in the team's previous loss, Whisenhunt vowed to examine what the Cards are doing and who's doing it. Clearly, Kolb is part of that examination, although there has been no discussion of replacing him. "I"m not saying that," Whisenhunt told the Arizona Republic's Kent Somers when he brought up the possibility. This is what happens when you pay guys $62 million and you're not really sure if they're going to pan out: you have to play them while you find out. Through six games, Kolb's struggling.

That said, he said after the Steelers loss that he felt he was making progress.

"When you have lost five games in a row, I don't think anybody is progressing at the rate we need," Whisenhunt said when apprised of Kolb's remarks.

"I think you're naïve if you say that. I'm not saying Kevin is naïve to say that. Kevin has made progress in some areas, but I think all know there have been some plays he's left out there."

We don't think Kevin's naive, either. Saying "I'm progressing!" is a coping mechanism.

Titans offense, defense
The biggest game of the season against a hated division rival and Tennessee decides to take the afternoon off. That sums up nicely what we can expect from this team the rest of the season. The Titans stumbled out of the gate losing to the Jags, then beat the Ravens in Week 2, got to 3-1 and then were smoked by the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Following their Week 6 bye, they came out wholly unprepared against a team they see twice a year every year, and following a 41-7 beatdown are now 3-3.

And there were no bright spots Sunday. Texans running back Arian Foster, not happy to just run all over the Titans, added an arial assault to the whipping. He had 115 receiving yards in the first half, including a 68-yard pitch and catch from Matt Schaub. By the time it was over, he had 119 yards receiving and another 115 rushing and three touchdowns.

“We got embarrassed in our own backyard. That’s the tough thing about it,” safety Michael Griffin said. “It can get worse. No team is going to look at us as a team that won three straight games. They’re going to look at us as a team that was 0-and-2 against good teams. We’ve got to turn this thing around.”

Luckily, Chris Johnson and his Amazing Disappearing Act, isn't to blame. At least according to Chris Johnson.

“Basically, if you are watching the game and you really can’t tell what is going on with the run game then I would say you really don’t know football,’’ Johnson said. “I wouldn’t say I am the issue. I am very confident I have been doing the things … I do.”

And in 2011, "doing the things I do" means rushing for 18 yards on 10 carries. Yes, Chris, keep doing that. It's a huge help.

Kyle Boller haunted the Ravens on MNF. (Getty Images)
Tie: Rams defense/Ravens offense
Lord have mercy on both these units. It's the unstoppable force and the immovable object having taken the shape of ridiculously bad football. The Rams, an admittedly dreadful team, got steamrolled by a Cowboys' run defense that, prior to Week 7, didn't exist. Remember: Dallas couldn't run the ball late in the game last week against the Pats' porous D. Against the Rams? It looked like Tony Dorsett and Emmitt Smith joined forces, hopped in a time machine, and went off.

Instead they just lived vicariously through rookie DeMarco Murray, Dallas' third-round pick. Murray's first touch of the game came on the Cowboys' first possession, on first and 19 from the Dallas nine-yard-line. Ninety-one yards later … touchdown. That set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. Murray, who saw extended action because Felix Jones was out with an injury, rushed 25 times for 253 (TWO-HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE!) yards.

Jeff Gordon's Rams Report Card in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is … well, about what you'd expect: Defensive line - F, linebackers - F, secondary - D-minus (woo hoo! passing!).

Head coach Steve Spagnuolo got an "F" too. "Spagnuolo was supposed to build this team from the lines out . . . and yet the Rams keep getting manhandled in the trenches, despite heavy investments there. Overall sloppiness remains pervasive six games into this winless season. … The death march continued."

And that's about the best thing you can say about the 2011 Rams.

The Ravens, meanwhile, entered Monday night's game as one of the best teams in the AFC, with their always-stout defense and a young offense that was supposedly improving. Other than the Week 1 hurting they put on the Steelers (which included seven Pittsburgh turnovers and great field position for Baltimore's offense), and the hapless Rams, the Ravens' offense looks to be right out of the era prior to the invention of the forward pass.

And that's fine if offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is feeding the ball to Ray Rice, easily the team's best weapon. But against the Jags, Rice fumbled early and ended up spending much of the evening on the bench. Predictably, Baltimore's offense faltered. (By the way, if Joe Flacco was benched every time he had a turnover he'd be on the practice squad by now.)

By the time it was over, Rice had eight carries for the night. In related news: the Ravens scored seven points, and that came on the next-to-last drive. Ironically: Flacco threw one of the worst interceptions you'll ever see on the last drive, sealing the win for the Jags.

“It's about as bad as you can play on offense,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said afterwards. “I don't know if we could play any worse than that until that [late] drive."

You can't. We checked. The Ravens didn't get their first first down until the third quarter.

“If we don't get the consistency on offense, we're not going anywhere," Harbaugh continued. "You can't play like we played tonight on offense and expect to win. We all know it. We got our butts handed to us from that sense, and we'll go back to work just like we always do.”

Linebacker Terrell Suggs, like everybody else, has no idea what the offense was doing.

"I don't really know what the game plan was," he told CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco after the game. "When I have a Pro Bowl running back, and he's not getting his touches, I'm going to feel some kind of way about it. He wants the ball. And I think we should feed him. Ray Rice is a phenomenal player. You have to use your phenomenal players. I have to question how many touches Anquan [Boldin] had. We've got guys on this team that can do some great things. We have to use those guys. It's that simple."

And this is why the torch-and-pitchfork crowd will be mobilizing this week and calling for Cameron to be fired (it's a weekly occurrence, but the cries should be especially loud this week after losing to the previously 1-5 Jaguars).


Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 105 yards against the NFL's best run defense, Josh Scobee kicked four field goals and the Jaguars snapped a five-game slide with a 12-7 victory over the Ravens on Monday night.

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Posted on: October 24, 2011 11:42 pm
 

Darren McFadden in walking boot, on crutches

Posted by Will Brinson

It's hard to imagine things could any worse for the Raiders after Sunday -- they lost 28-0 to division rival Kansas City, the newly-acquired Carson Palmer threw three picks and Darren McFadden got hurt.

But the news that McFadden is in a walking boot and on crutches, well, that's worse.

"I’m hoping to get him back soon," Hue Jackson said Monday per our Raiders Rapid Reporter Eric Gilmore.

Of course, Hue also said that Carson Palmer had "poise" and "leadership" on Sunday, which are now apparently code words for "no arm strength" and "an inability to see guys on defense."

There are lots of concerns with the Raiders right now, coming off that brutal loss, but the potential loss of McFadden for any length of time is easily the biggest problem facing Oakland.

Michael Bush is a capable backup and a physical runner, but McFadden's been -- arguably -- the best running back in the NFL this year. Getting Palmer acclimated and keeping this team in contention in the AFC West without him would be a difficult task.

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Posted on: October 23, 2011 12:27 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2011 2:35 pm
 

Report: Carson Palmer to start in two weeks

Palmer and Boller

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

We already know Carson Palmer is absolutely not going to start today in the Oakland-Kansas City game, but that doesn’t mean Kyle Boller should get comfortable in his No. 1 spot.

Instead, CBS Sports' Dan Fouts is reporting that Palmer will be the starting quarterback in two weeks vs. the Broncos. That will give him part of this week, next week’s bye and all of the next week after that in practice to get ready to start.

Although coach Hue Jackson claimed Palmer is throwing better than ever, saying, “You’ve got to be kidding me. He’s throwing the ball like you wouldn’t believe. Trust me, if he’s out there -- I mean, we wouldn’t have signed him if he couldn’t throw.”

He could even be ready to play today. That’s the word from Fox Sport’s Jay Glazer, who reported on Fox NFL Sunday that Jackson plans to dress Palmer and to use him in the game if possible. Jackson also has a package in place for Terrelle Pryor, if the game dictates that.

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Posted on: October 23, 2011 10:50 am
 

Campbell found out about Palmer trade on TV

Posted by Will Brinson

When Carson Palmer was traded from the Bengals to the Raiders, we made the argument that the biggest loser in the whole deal was Oakland incumbent Jason Campbell. After all, Hue Jackson's decision to make a play for Palmer essentially sealed Campbell's future by the bay.

Cementing that theory, then, is the news that Campbell found out about the Palmer trade while watching television. In his hospital bed. With his fiancée.

"I was halfway still on pain medicine," Campbell told Bay Area radio station 95.7 The Game. "It was kind of a moment of silence. My fiancée looked at me to see if I was gonna say something. There's different things that go through your mind but you don't want to fill your mind with those thoughts."

Can you imagine how awkward that is? I mean, Campbell's a professional athlete and he's been through a couple Redskins regimes, so the guy knows a thing or two about getting punched in the stomach by a front office.

But the anesthesia on his broken collarbone hadn't even worn off before the Raiders had hauled him out behind the house and thrown his Oakland career in the (metaphorical) dumpster ... without giving him a heads up. And letting him find out in front of his lady.

"I started receiving these text messages and everything about, you know, 'Hey what's going on?' and 'There's been a trade' and everything, and 'They've just given up a first round,' " Campbell said.

Look, the NFL is a cold business. This stuff happens a lot and the Raiders aren't supposed to be sending flowers -- they're supposed to be doing everything in their power to improve their team.

It's just that Campbell, more than most players, has been on the icy receiving end of things over his career and you'd think they could at least give him a heads up that they were calling the dogs off on his career in Oakland.

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Posted on: October 22, 2011 8:14 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2011 9:29 pm
 

Hue: Palmer throwing 'like you wouldn't believe'

Posted by Will Brinson



Ever since Oakland sent (potentially) two first-round picks to Cincinnati in order to acquire Carson Palmer, there's been a fierce debate about whether or not they paid too much.

One of the reasons for concern is that many a pundit believes Palmer lost some the zing off his throw. An elbow surgery injury in 2008 coincides with the last time he averaged more than seven yards per attempt as well an obvious decline in production; his numbers in 2009 and 2010 aren't close to his 2005 and 2006 numbers, when he was arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

But Hue Jackson, the man who green-lit the deal to acquire Palmer, isn't trying to hear any of that business. In fact, he says Palmer's slinging the rock around like it was the good old days.


The Kansas City Chiefs will battle the Oakland Raiders this Sunday at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Which team has the advantage? NFL.com's Pat Kirwan joins Jason Horowitz to preview this AFC West matchup. Watch the game at 4:05 PM ET on CBS.

"You’ve got to be kidding me," Jackson said about the speculation that Palmer lost strength and velocity. "He’s throwing the ball like you wouldn’t believe. Trust me, if he’s out there -- I mean, we wouldn’t have signed him if he couldn’t throw.

"I get surprised at those kinds of questions because I would never put the guy on the team or [trade] draft picks like that if he couldn’t throw the ball or he could not do or be what I think he has the potential to be."

Palmer to the Raiders


Of course, everyone else is surprised because it seemed obvious that Palmer's skills declined after his elbow injury. And because Jackson gave up big-time draft picks in order to land him.

It might not matter; Palmer's an upgrade over Kyle Boller if he goes under the knife tomorrow. And as bad as everyone feels for Jason Campbell, Palmer's an upgrade over him too, even though he missed the first six weeks of the season.

But none of that is important -- Palmer can throw for 4,000 yards, or he can throw for 400, but if the Raiders don't make the playoffs this year or next, after giving up the pair of picks they did, then they lost the deal.

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Posted on: October 21, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Report: Carson Palmer may not start for Raiders

The Raiders could feature some combination of Palmer, Boller and Pryor Sunday against the Chiefs(AP)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

CBSSports.com's Clark Judge was in the minority a day ago, when he didn't believe that Carson Palmer would start immediately for the Raiders after almost a year on the couch and just a week of practice. "It just seems as if starting a quarterback who hasn't played in over nine months, has no history with your team or his teammates and isn't in football shape isn't such a smart idea," he wrote.

A day later, Judge looks pretty smart because as it turns out, Palmer might not be under center when Raiders host the Chiefs Sunday.

Palmer to the Raiders

"I'm 95 percent sure he is not going to play," a source close to the situation told ESPN's Adam Schefter Friday afternoon. "Practicing Wednesday and Thursday, he felt he's not ready to make those high-velocity throws yet. Maybe they could decide something at the last minute, but I don't think he's going to play."

According to the NFL Network's Steve Wyche, Kyle Boller will start instead of Palmer.

It was those "high-velocity throws" that most troubled Palmer's skeptics. The former first-overall pick had lost considerable arm strength since suffering an elbow injury during the 2008 season but as recently as Thursday, one Raiders beat reporter said that Palmer's "sideline throws arrive in a hurry, and with plenty of zip."

But as we mentioned at the time, any questions about arm strength will linger until Palmer has to make a stick throw under pressure during a game.

Raiders head coach Hue Jackson hinted during a Friday radio appearance that the game plan could feature multiple quarterbacks. And according to the Oakland Tribune's Jerry McDonald, Kyle Boller, who replaced Jason Campbell last week, took first-team snaps to open Friday's practice.

McDonald added that "Jackson indicated he could reach a decision on whether Boller or Carson Palmer would start against the Chiefs on Friday, but that’s unlikely to happen in an open forum. He said he’d probably make the call while having his weekly 'Irish coffee' Friday evening. Chances are, that means the only people who find out are the CBS TV production crew on Saturday."

Perhaps giving more credence to the notion that more than one quarterback will play Sunday: rookie Terrelle Pryor has also taken first-team reps this week.


The Kansas City Chiefs will battle the Oakland Raiders this Sunday at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Which team has the advantage? NFL.com's Pat Kirwan joins Jason Horowitz to preview this AFC West matchup. Watch the game at 4:05 PM ET on CBS. Also: don't forget to check out the Pregame: Chiefs-Raiders edition.

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Posted on: October 21, 2011 10:01 am
Edited on: October 21, 2011 10:03 am
 

Report: Carson Palmer took pay cut with Raiders

It may not look like it above, but everybody's happy ... for now. (AP/US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Plenty of people (us included) thought that two first-round picks* was a steep price to pay for a quarterback who has been on his couch for eight months, and was last considered elite in 2005.

But Carson Palmer is now an Oakland Raider, and despite just a week of practice, he appears set to start against the Chiefs Sunday. And, yes, two first-rounders for a 31-year-old QB whose best days seemed behind him reeks of desperation, but Palmer's completely healthy, and he even took a pay cut to play for Oakland. Not so much because he's a swell guy and was willing to do anything to get out of Cincinnati (though that may have had something to do with it), but because Palmer's deal, as currently written, wasn't going to fit under the Raiders' salary cap.

Under his old contract (the one that would pay him $118 million and so incensed Bengals fans when Palmer "retired"), Palmer was set to earn $11.5 million. He instead restructured his contract and took a $5 million pay cut this season, an NFLPA source told ESPN's Adam Schefter Thursday.


The Kansas City Chiefs will battle the Oakland Raiders this Sunday at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Which team has the advantage? NFL.com's Pat Kirwan joins Jason Horowitz to preview this AFC West matchup. Watch the game at 4:05 PM ET on CBS. Also: don't forget to check out the Pregame: Chiefs-Raiders edition.

More details via Schefter's report: "They did guarantee $5 million of his $12.5 million salary next season, but nobody thought the Raiders would have parted ways with him when they surrendered two draft picks to the Bengals. Palmer is scheduled to make $12.5 million next season, $13 million in 2013 and $15 million in 2014. But Palmer will make $5 million less this season."

* Technically, the Raiders got Palmer for a 2012 first-round pick and a 2013 second-rounder that would become a first-rounder if Oakland makes the AFC title game this postseason.

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Posted on: October 20, 2011 5:59 pm
 

Carson Palmer 'has plenty of zip on his throws'

Carson Palmer and Kyle Boller at Raiders practice Wednesday. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

If we're to believe Raiders offensive coordinator Al Saunders, Carson Palmer, less than a week out of retirement, will start Sunday against the Chiefs "as long as he's breathing."

CBSSports.com's Clark Judge isn't buying it, primarily because "It just seems as if starting a quarterback who hasn't played in over nine months, has no history with your team or his teammates and isn't in football shape isn't such a smart idea."

Palmer to the Raiders
We'll know one way or the other Sunday afternoon, but for now the discussion remains if a) the Palmer we'll see will be a better rested version of the 2010 quarterback who appeared skittish, or b) a reinvented Palmer more closely resembling his 2005 self, when he was one of the league's best QBs.

CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco thinks it'll be the latter.

NFL Network's Albert Breer talked to former NFL quarterback Ken O'Brien, who's been working with Palmer during his retirement/holdout, and let's just say O'Brien was impressed with what he saw.

"He's healthy as a horse," O'Brien told Breer. "I just helped him get through drills. And from where he was, he had to get healthy after the end of the season. That's the good part of the layoff. He rested his body up. … Everyone wants to be in top shape, but when you have an injury inside of you, with ligaments or cartilage, that takes time to heal, no matter how strong or muscular you feel."

After the issues about being in shape and learning a new offense, there were also concerns about Palmer's arm strength. He came into the league with a cannon, and after 2008 elbow surgery, he left looking more like Chad Pennington (slight exaggeration, but everybody can agree that he had lost a few MPH's off his fastball).

"If everything else is equal, he has all the talent in the world to do whatever he wants to," O'Brien said. "Talent and desire is not an issue. It might've been a dysfunctional situation he was in, or being injured, where he didn't have as much success of late. And being healthy certainly helps. He can do everything he wants to do physically now, and that's exciting.

"Add to that, he and Hue have history together. Hue knows what to do, he's an exceptionally smart coach. Carson will fit right in, where they were looking for an answer. You can't just get guys like him."


The Kansas City Chiefs will battle the Oakland Raiders this Sunday at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Which team has the advantage? NFL.com's Pat Kirwan joins Jason Horowitz to preview this AFC West matchup. Watch the game at 4:05 PM ET on CBS.

Not without giving up two first-round picks, anyway. With just a handful of practices with his new team, Palmer has looked every bit the franchise quarterback. Any questions about his arm strength will linger until he has to make a stick throw under pressure during a game, but for now, the reassuring tweets of Raiders beat reporter Steve Corkran will have to do (from Thursday's practice): "Palmer sideline throws arrive in a hurry, plenty of zip on his throws."

If you still have doubts, here's Saunders, upon first viewing Palmer on the Raiders' practice field Wednesday. “He walked out on the field yesterday and everybody kind of looked at everybody and said, ‘You know what? This is a real quarterback,’” he said. “That was the comment made by a couple people as they watched him throw. It just depends on how quickly he feels comfortable in what we’re doing and that shouldn’t take too long.”

Hardly a ringing endorsement for Kyle Boller (which he must be used to at this stage of his career), but that's sort of the point. You don't mortgage the franchise for a slight upgrade from your backup. That said, just how good Palmer will be -- and if he's worth what the Raiders gave up to get him -- remains to be seen.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com