The Oakland Raiders made all the headlines prior to the NFL trade deadline. With a playoff roster intact, the Raiders wanted to do everything they could to keep their postseason hopes alive. When Jason Campbell was lost for the season, they knew they needed to land a quarterback to replace him. They gave up two future draft picks, one of them a guaranteed first rounder, for Carson Palmer. Now Palmer’s resume is impressive and he has had some success during his career, but he had also been sitting on his couch for months before Oakland dealt for him. The question was how rusty would he be? How much time would he need to get back into football shape? The Raiders and everyone around the NFL got that answer this past weekend. When Kyle Boller spent the first half of the game against Kansas City throwing interceptions around like they were Halloween candy, Hue Jackson had no choice but to turn to his new franchise quarterback. Palmer didn’t look much better than Boller tossing three picks himself and showing that he’s going to need a little bit of time to get re-adjusted to life in the NFL.
Hue Jackson joined KNBR in San Francisco with Murph and Mac to talk about whether or not he thinks he mishandled the quarterback situation, on the idea that Palmer was not supposed to play Sunday, if he thought Palmer looked rusty, whether or not he was prepared for adversity, and whether or not he thinks postgame handshakes need to be eliminated.
Whether or not he thinks he mishandled the QB situation:
“No I don’t think so. I know everybody keeps saying that last week I was making it about Carson Palmer. I think any time you put a player on your team like Carson Palmer, who was the first player drafted by Cincinnati and you put him on your team, I’m not the one that calls all the media to talk about him. My focus was to get my team ready. I never once said Carson Palmer was gonna start. I said we were gonna see if we could get him off and running. That means he’s off his couch, now he’s practicing with his teammates, getting to know his teammates, and that was it. I never once said he was gonna start, play, or anything. My goal was to get him back into practice mode, getting him back to throwing the football, and obviously he needed to practice a little bit with his teammates and that’s what he did. There was never any question in my mind what needed to happen. Kyle (Boller) needed to start. He knew the system, he knew the players, and I think that’s what everybody thought. Everybody else wanted to make a big deal about here he is, he should be playing, and because you put him on the team he needs to start. I think when I put Aaron Curry on the team I knew he needed to play because he had been playing.”
On the idea that Palmer didn’t know he was going to play Sunday:
“I think if you talk to Carson, and really I didn’t hear it that way because I didn’t look at it, but when I said to Carson ‘hey look do you want to go into this game and get some reps?’ He said ‘yes.’ That’s what the conversation was. If Carson Palmer would’ve said no then Carson Palmer never would’ve been in the game. It’s not like I threw him in the game and said ‘you better go in.’ I think how he looked at it was ‘hey look I knew I wasn’t totally ready to play but I need to get in there and get some work because there was no preseason games.’ I don’t think on Friday, he didn’t take very many reps. I think his response was in response to a question and how everyone took it is not how I think it came about from him. I think he wasn’t saying ‘oh wow they put me in a game and I wasn’t ready and I didn’t know anything or I didn’t know I was gonna go in.’ I told him when he was here, ‘I would love to not have to put you in this game.’ That’s not what I want to do. That’s a conversation that we had but the whole complexity of the game changed.”
Whether or not he thought Palmer looked rusty:
“Yes he did and deservedly so. This man was on a couch and we’re playing against the highest level of competition on Sunday. I think what he did in my opinion was kind of remarkable. The guy got off the couch, came here, had basically three practices with his teammates, in somewhat of a different system, put him in the game, knew at some point I wanted to put him in the game but with a very limited run menu, but I put him in the game early in the third quarter and to be able to get the communication from me to him to his teammates to give himself the best opportunity to have some success then throw the ball, complete his first ball, complete some other balls, miss some balls, but be out there playing and competing, that’s tough business. Like I said if anyone can do it he can and the only guy that can overcome it whether it’s gonna be really good or gonna be really bad is this guy Carson Palmer.”
If he knew he would face this kind of adversity:
“There’s no doubt. I already knew this was coming at some point, not like this because you don’t know who’s gonna get injured or how you’re gonna get through this and that’s why we don’t blink. I’m not gonna blink about any of this. This is part of the job. I knew this could happen when I took the job. Things aren’t always gonna go right and be perfect but I think if you stay to it, you stay consistent, you keep pressing on, and keep working at it, good things are gonna happen. I have total faith in that. I’m not concerned exactly where we’re going because I know where we’re going. My concern was how we come out of this very quickly coming out of the bye. Make sure we have a very solid plan, get Carson up to speed, get him up to speed with this offense as fast as we can, and then let’s move forward.”
Whether or not postgame handshakes should be a thing of the past:
“No, I think it’s a necessary thing. I think we all compete in this business and it’s a hard, tough, grinding business. I think we all know each other and we all have great respect for each other and sometimes things get said and things get done that you don’t agree with and at the end of the day I think we all have great respect for each other. Last week to me that’s over and done with. That was not a big deal by no stretch of the imagination. We’re gonna let that go and move on from it.”