Here’s what quarterback Carson Palmer had to say about where the Raiders stand through four games, what they got accomplished in practice this week, what lies ahead during the bye and the other issues surrounding the team:
Q: Bye week, what accomplished and how get back on track?
Palmer: A lot. Obviously, with the issues we’ve had on third down, we went back through ‘em, watched ‘em all multiple times. Repped ‘em in walkthroughs, repped ‘em in practice, against our defense, against the looks we saw in games. Now that I think about it, these last two days was a ton of red zone, a ton of third down, so it’s been good. It’s good to have this chance, this early to kind of do a self-scout, self-evaluation to look at why, and it’s really frustrating to watch on film because we’re just an inch off here and an inch off there and we had three third downs where we were a half-yard short. And it’s just execution, knowing the play so well that you just react.
Q: Execution in the games, one thing to watch it and rep it, another thing to do it in games. .
Palmer: Rep it and rep it and rep it. There’s a couple of times where we’re not thinking too much and not reacting on what we’re coached to do in that situation. When you’re in a new offense and it’s new guys and a couple of rookies in some spots, it’s really good to have this opportunity this early as opposed to having a bye week in Week 8 or 9 where most of the season has kind of passed you up. It’s so early we had a chance to really look at it and understand why we didn’t stay on the field. We put our defense in a tough position, why we went three-and-out and why we lost the time of possession in games and the coach did a really good job of illustrating the statistics of it. This is what happens when you go three-and-out and you don’t get a first down, you put the opposing offense in a better field position situation, just kind of going over all those little situations, so it’s been really good to get everybody on the same page and see why certain things we do well work and why certain things that we didn’t do well didn’t work and how we can make adjustments. It’s been a good week.
Q: What’s the morale like in the locker room?
Palmer: It was a good bye week. A lot of times bye week can come. It’s so far into the season that you just need a break. I don’t feel like guys think we need a break. We’re frustrated that we are where we are because of the way we’ve executed and we were all talking and we were in the team meeting, this is a week to get better, there are meetings to get better, workouts, these practices are a chance to get better. I really feel like we got a lot of accomplished this week. We focused so much on third down, we will be better, and offensively, we’re going to keep our defense fresher and keep them off the field. I think we’ve ironed on some things we’ve don’t do well and some things we do well and we’ll do those more often.
Q: Depart four days, what is the message imparted by coaches . . .
Palmer: It’s not four off days. That’s something you’ve really got to relay to young guys. You’re don’t just sit on the couch and watch TV. Everybody’s taking home film, I know I’ve got a bunch of stuff stuff on my computer I need to watch and even young guys are taking home film of not just (inaudubile) but their own plays, balls thrown, runs run their way. It’s a chance to get some rest physically, but not mentally. That’s something coach really emphasized. You can go one of two ways, you can say, screw it I’m going to Vegas and party for four days, and that’s not what this team is about. Most of these guys are sticking around, are going to come in and work out. A couple of guys are going to see family, but guys are taking stuff home, guys are taking playbooks home. It’s not like, we’re not in a situation where guys are flying to the airport to leave in 10 minutes. Guys understand we’ve got a lot of football left and it’s not time just to relax, it’s time to get healthy but continue to work, to work out and stay in shape and be ready to go on Monday.
Q: Coaches can’t coach you during the break, but can you reach out to players, will you be in contact with them . .
Palmer: Yeah, for the most part in this locker room, guys, we’re co workers, but guys are friends. Guys will be in here working out. A couple of guys are going to an obligation they have in L.A., but there’s a place to work out, they’re working out in L.A., but yeah, we’ll all be in communication.
Q: Lack of deep pass plays . . .
Palmer: there’s not a cause for it. There’s reasons to be more attacking in that in that sense and we’ve talked about that. We’ve played two division games, two opportunities to look at those films and see, maybe we’ll do a little but more of this, the next time we play the Chargers or this next time we play Denver, but we are going to be more aggressive. It’s something that we definitely addressed, taking more shots downfield.”