Carson Palmer seems to be a natural leader. He spent his off season organizing workouts with widereceivers, meeting with new coaches, and studying his new playbook doing everything a rookie head coach would want. However leaders in the NFL don’t stay leaders for long when they throw more interceptions then touchdowns. Which leads to the question the Oakland Raiders have to be asking themselves, Can Carson Palmer lead in Oakland.
Its a little early to judge Palmer after only one preseason performance, but it isn’t very reassuring to start off the season with a overthrown pass into double coverage. One must wonder why the pass was even thrown. The intended receiver on the play was not Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson, or even Denarius Moore. The intended receiver was all of 5″9 Jacoby Ford who couldn’t beat out Mini-me in a jump ball battle. So is Palmer still the interception plagued quarterback that he was in his final years at Cincinnati? As scary as that thought is sports commentators seem to enjoy talking about it, sending a shiver up the spine of Raider Nation.
The Raider in me has faith that Palmer can get the job done in Oakland. He might not be able to compete with the likes of Tom Brady, but so long as he can play on Alex Smith’s level the Raiders should have a chance. Darren McFadden and the new and improved Dennis Allen Defense will take care of winning games so long as Palmer doesn’t lose them. Considering the Raiders have the rest of the preseason for Palmer to work out his interception ticks I’d say hes fine. Despite all of the positive things that have come out of the silver and black’s off season turnovers are the one thing that could wreck playoff chances in Oakland with a healthy McFadden which is why Palmer absolutely needs to be on time with his passes.
Worst case scenario Matt Leinart will have a second shot at clearing his name as NFL bust. The former USC Trojan spent Monday night looking more like a playboy model then a quarterback, the man looked damn good working on his back. Leinart completed 11 of 16 passes for 98 yards and no turnovers. This can serve as small piece of reassurance to Greg Knapp who always has valuable veteran as a backup if needed. Tomorrow night will prove whether Oakland can fix their mistakes and capitalize on their achievements. The preseason might not hold any post-season value, but it certainly will be beneficial to carry some momentum into week one.