As far as debuts go Carson Palmer’s unveiling as a Raider went about as well as Charlie Sheen’s first stop on the Torpedo of Truth Tour. Unable to, in three days, digest the phonebook that is Al Saunders’ playbook. Plus all that NFL rust. Palmer was in a poor position against the Kansas City Chiefs. Were it not for Kyle Boller one-upping JaMarcus Russell, chances are Palmer would have been watching from the sideline for his first time wearing Silver and Black.
The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time. Palmer had the chance to dive into the playbook and some of his receivers stuck around to get in a little extra work. The past week of preparation has Palmer proclaiming that he’s good to go Sunday.
“There’s no comparison to last week, to last Wednesday. I’m comfortable with the entire playbook, comfortable with the guys, comfortable with the snap count, where to stand in the huddle. Every little bit that I’ve been around here, every second that I’ve had, I’ve just learned more and more.”
Good to know Palmer has the playbook down. Problem is that won’t be enough if Darren McFadden is out. Palmer is going to have to do more than make the right calls. He’s got to make plays too.
Circumstances being what they are Palmer isn’t going to be allowed to have a breaking-in period. The AFC West is up for grabs and the Raiders need Palmer playing at a high level now. Problem is behind Palmer there still isn’t another option. Even though picking up Palmer in the wake of Jason Campbell’s injury was clutch it still leaves the Raiders stranded should Palmer’s play remain ineffective.
Perhaps the Broncos provide a nice way to transition Palmer into the full-time role but that would be overlooking a fierce rival. Either way the time for Palmer to produce is right now. There is no tomorrow. Not when Hue Jackson is swinging for the fences in his first year running the show.