Palmer: 'I let the team down; I let our fans down'


Palmer: 'I let the team down; I let our fans down'


ATLANTA -- Carson Palmer outplayed Matt Ryan.Palmer passed for 353 yards with a touchdown. He rekindled his chemistry with Denarius Moore. He led the Raiders on what might have been a signature game-tying drive.But that's not what the Raiders quarterback wanted to talk about after the Raiders' 23-20 loss to Atlanta. Rather, he wanted to apologize for the costly pick-6 he threw that Asante Samuel returned 79 yards with 2:40 to play.Even if Palmer, you could say, made up for it on the ensuing 2-minute drive that tied the game at 20-20."We had a great gameplan, and I let the team down," Palmer said. "I let our fans down. Making that mistake I made is crucial. It's on me. It's my fault. We fought hard all game long, and that's what we expected. That's what coach expects of us. That's what he preaches -- finishing -- and I didn't do a good enough job of finishing."I feel for our fans. I know our fans wanted it. Put the blame on me. It's completely my fault. I have to do a better job of protecting the ball. I made a crucial mistake and let our team down and let everybody down."Maybe yes. Maybe no.GUTIERREZ: Moral victory? What moral victory?
This much is true, though, when Palmer threw that interception, the Raiders were already in field-goal range to take the lead. Palmer was trying to hit Denarius Moore on the right sideline when Samuel simply jumped the route. And he was gone."My safety, William Moore, gave me the wrong coverage, so I said, 'Forget it,'" Samuel said. "So I said, 'I'm going to do whatever I think,' so he put me in the right position and I just made a good read and broke on it."Said Palmer: "I didn't think he was going to make the play he did. You have to give him credit, he made a good play. But I can't put us in that position. I need to at least make that tackle. It's a mistake I can't make. It's a mistake I made that cost us the game. It can't happen."Palmer completed 23 of 33 passes for those 353 yards, the fourth-highest total of his 14-game Raiders tenure. He was also sacked three times by defensive end John Abraham, who had a field day toying with tackles Willie Smith and Jared Veldheer."We studied a lot of film going into this game," said Abraham, whose strip-sack of Palmer ended with the Falcons having possession at the Raiders 2-yard line. "I felt like I could have a big day. They had a younger tackle (in Smith) who I knew I could rattle easily."Palmer, though, was not having it. His level of accountability made sure of it."It's hard to look at the positives," he said. "It just hurts. It hurts."

Carr excited to work with Gruden: 'I want him to be tough on me'


Carr excited to work with Gruden: 'I want him to be tough on me'

Jon Gruden has been interviewed several times since becoming Raiders head coach. Quarterback Derek Carr hasn’t listened to most of those sessions, and certainly doesn’t seek them out.

One landed in Carr’s inbox recently, and something Gruden said really resonated.

Gruden’s message, paraphrased: If Derek Carr is not successful, then I’ve failed as a coach.

There are two comments in that one. Gruden considers Carr extremely talented, and he’s taking responsibility for unlocking the quarterback's vast potential.

Gruden will be hands on in Carr’s development, with all the coaching intensity and fire and eyebrow raises that have become Gruden’s signature.

“He’s going to demand of me. He’s going to push me,” Carr said on this week’s episode of the Raiders Insider Podcast, which will drop Tuesday morning (Subcribe right here). “He’s going to make me be the best version of myself.”

Carr had a direct answer to skeptics wondering aloud whether he can thrive under Gruden’s particular coaching style.

“I want him to be tough on me,” Carr said. “For anyone who thinks I want him to be a different way has no clue about me or how I play football or how I prepare to play this game. I don’t need to tell stories about how I prepare or manage myself.

“(Jon) and I are going to get along great. I hope that he demands of me. I hope he’s hard on me. I don’t need to know he loves me. He has already told me that about 20 times. I appreciate that and we’ll be friends forever, but I know he’ll be demanding and tell me what I need to do. Let’s go fix problems that I have and let’s do what I need to do to win championships. Hopefully that will give people some insight and hopefully that’s the story that gets out, because that’s the truth.”

Carr met his new head coach briefly before his introductory press conference, but has known Gruden since filming the Gruden QB Camp segment back in 2014. They got along great then, and in each interaction since.

“We have so much more in common that people realize,” Carr said. “I think it would blow some people’s minds. Him and I are very similar in the way we go about our business and how we carry ourselves. It’s an exciting time.”

Carr’s excited to have some stability in his football life. The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback will start his fifth NFL season with his fourth head coach, fourth go-round with an offensive coordinator and third offensive scheme. Gruden signed a 10-year contract. OC Greg Olson signed a four-year pact. They’ll be here a while, and Carr’s excited about that.

“It’s going to be really nice,” Carr said. “To know Jon signed on for a 10 years and (Olson) signed on for a long time shows me a couple of things. No. 1: that they believe in me. I don’t think Coach Gruden would’ve quit his day job, which I’m thankful he did. To get (Olson) out of a good spot in L.A (with the Rams), shows that they believe in me and that’s awesome. And, No. 2: I’m going to have two people I can talk to in a different language for years to come. We can grow within the relationship, and hopefully we’ll all ride off together. It’s set up that way right now, and we have a lot of work to do to reach that point.”

Raiders QB Derek Carr named to third straight Pro Bowl


Raiders QB Derek Carr named to third straight Pro Bowl

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is headed to his third consecutive Pro Bowl. He became eligible once New England qualified for the Super Bowl and Tom Brady was out of the running for next week’s NFL all-star game in Orlando.

Carr was the next alternate up, and accepted the invitation to represent the Silver and Black. Khalil Mack, Rodney Hudson, Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn were named to the original roster, though Penn has bowed out with injury.

Carr will join his teammates in Florida for game-week festivities, followed by the inter-conference clash on Sunday at noon at Camping World Stadium. The game can be seen on ABC.

He joins Rich Gannon and Ken Stabler as Raiders quarterbacks with at least three Pro Bowl selections. Carr had a down year relative to his previous two, but still posted standout numbers. He had 3,496 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and an 86.4 passer rating.

The Raiders finished a disappointing 6-10, and head coach Jack Del Rio was fired in favor of Jon Gruden.

“It was not the year we wanted, but to still be recognized by you, Raider Nation and fans everywhere, and the players and coaches you go against is an extremely high honor I will always be thankful for!” Carr wrote in a note posted on Twitter. “Although I am extremely blessed to be thought of in such a way by my peers, I understand there is more work to do. There is more to achieve and more to accomplish and I will now ret until we get there, Raider Nation!”