By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, April 5th, 2012 at 7:28 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer has noted in a couple of offseason interviews his frustration with not having seen the playbook which will ostensibly become his manual to an AFC West title and beyond this season.
The strength and conditioning phase of the Raiders offseason is four days old and Palmer can’t work with position coaches or coordinators on the field, but he’s in the formative stages of learning the playbook and has spent time in meetings as the offense has been installed. To say Palmer is excited would be an understatement.
Some of his observations during an interview late Thursday afternoon:
– “I think it’s really going to fit the personnel we have. The style of play with the offensive line and the zone running scheme, and the speed we have in the backfield, it’s built for making a read, making one cut, and getting vertical and putting pressure on the defense with our speed and our running backs just heading north when they find the hole in that zone.”
– “I spent time talking with Darren (McFadden) and Taiwan Jones about it, and obviously the running game is going to be big for the Oakland Raiders this year. And what comes off the running game is really cool. All the play-action stuff really utilizes what we have on the outside. There’s not a lot of routes where guys are stopping. They’re using their speed, they’re on the move. It’s going to fit the strong suits of a lot of guys we have on offense, including myself.”
– “Defensive players are taught to read, not to put their eyes in the backfield and get caught by the quarterback. But from the film I’ve been watching (of the Houston Texans), it looks like a run to the first five guys. They don’t know for a few second after the ball is snapped that the quarterback has already gone into his first read. The Texans played with three different quarterbacks and when their big guy, Andre Johnson went down, they don’t slow down a bit.”
– “A lot of things quarterbacks are asked to do in this offense are strengths of mine. There are a lot of naked bootlegs and I’ve always focused on working on that. I did so much of it in college and I’m excited to do more of it now. I haven’t done it a ton (in the NFL, but it’s something I’m comfortable doing.”
– “The good thing with all this play-action stuff and move-the-pocket stuff is that some of the best plays are the screens and checkdowns to running backs. When you cover Jacoby (Ford) downfield and Denarius downfield, one of the positives is the checkdown, the easy throw, the dumpoff to the running back. When Darren McFadden and Taiwan Jones have five, six or seven yards separation between them between the next defender, they rarely get tackled by the first defender. I love throwing the ball downfield, but watching Houston and seeing the completions that got with Arian Foster with 10 yards of cushion, were exciting to see. It gave him a chance to put his foot in the ground and go.”