Raiders

Palmer, Jackson reunited

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Palmer, Jackson reunited

ALAMEDA -- New Raiders QB Carson Palmer and coach Hue Jackson sat together at Raiders headquarters Tuesday afternoon and spoke about the time they've spent together at USC, with the Bengals and outlined their future together in Oakland.

Hue Jackson opening statement
We were able to put together what I think is probably the greatest trade in football, in my opinion. Obviously I think everybody knows that we needed to go out and address our quarterback situation. I told you guys the other day that I was going to continue to search, look, do everything I could to help this football team to become all it can be. That's my job as the head coach and the leader of this team. So, what I set out to do was find the person that I would feel comfortable with, coming in here, helping me lead this football team as we continue to move forward, and giving us the best opportunity to win. And I was very lucky to kind of reach back in my past and grab somebody that I am very familiar with, (that) being Carson. But in order to do that it took a lot of teamwork, it took a lot of cooperation from the Bengals. It took a lot of teamwork here within this Raiders organization to get it done. And again, I want to thank Mark Davis for all he's done.

Jackson on whether Palmer will start on Sunday
You think I'm going to tell you that right now? You know me a little bit better than that. You do try, all you guys try. Nice try. I'm not going to let that out of the bag just yet. But you gotta be ready for anything from me, I think you know that. We'll see as we continue to move through the week exactly where we're at.

Carson Palmer on whether his heart is still in football and the responsibility he feels toward the Raiders
A tremendous burden. I was telling somebody just a little while ago I went to bed last night at 10:30 a retired football player and got a text message at 4 a.m. and was told to get on a plane to Oakland. So, it's been a whirlwind. I understand what's expected of me. I've played in this league for eight years, I know what playing quarterback in this league is about. It's about winning and I want to come in and contribute and do everything I can, whatever I can to help this team.

Palmer on how he gets his mind back to playing football when he was convinced that he was ready to retire
My mind has been in football. It's been a difficult six weeks. Football is what I know, it's It's what I've been doing since I was probably 5,6,7,8-years-old. I've followed the game, I've worked out. I've continued to stay focus on football and keep my mind in football, so I haven't been away from the game. I haven't been playing it for six weeks comparatively speaking to guys that have been on teams but my mind's been in it.
Jackson on the price tag and whether this is a move he would have made had Jason Campbell not been injured
I think you brought up a good point. Obviously, first of all I'd like to take us back to Jason. Obviously Jason was the starting quarterback on this football team and did a fantastic job. It was very unfortunate that he got hurt and had surgery yesterday. he's resting comfortably and we're going to miss him because Jason did so many good things here, not just on this football team but in the community. And then you think of Kyle Boller and what he did just this past week in helping this team get a win. And that's what they are, those guys are pros, and I'm really glad to have had the opportunity to work with Jason, watch what Jason did and how he led this team and we're going to miss him. And we wish him a very speedy recovery and hope he gets back in ability soon. and actually Kyle's gotta go to work tomorrow. He's got some work to do. But as far as the draft picks, what we had to give up to get this young man, I never hesitated because I know exactly what I'm getting. When you go back -- I think you guys know my history with Carson -- obviously I recruited and coached Carson in college and was with him in Cincinnati at the Bengals so I have a long-standing history with him. And I know what we're putting on this football team. I went to Mark (Davis) and Amy (Trask) and said, "hey look, this is the person that I think that we need to add in order to get to where I want to take this organization, being that Jason is not here." Obviously you said, "would this have happened if Jason had been here?" Probably not, no question. I mean, we were moving at a pretty good pace. We're a 4-and-2 football team and we're getting better. And like I said, it was unfortunate that happened but then you have to respond. And I go back to the commitment from the organization, the commitment from Mark, the commitment to our players that my job is to do everything I can to make sure I'm putting us in the best situation to win. And that's what I'm always going to do.

Palmer on his readiness and when did Jackson recruit him harder -- coming out of high school or to come to the Raiders?
If you know Hue and you've been recruited by Hue you know you don't get recruited any harder than by this guy. For the past six weeks I thought I was retired. Before the start of the season I was training like it was a normal offseason for myself, going about my business like I normally would in the offseason. And then Week 1 hit and I thought, "I gotta look elsewhere, I gotta start to find what the next phase of my life may be. Like I said, I got a text late last night and then early this morning saying that this might happen and can you get on a plane? I'm ready to go. I'm excited, I'm honored. I don't know a lot about this organization but I know that it's dedicated to winning. I know the history. I know where this organization has been and where it wants to get back to and I'm excited to be a part of that.

Jackson on what makes him think that Palmer is still the player he had in Cincinnati as opposed to the guy who wasn't quite that good the last few years?
What was the last part? What did you just say? I didn't hear that. This is not about numbers, this is about the person because I know his heart, I know his passion. I know his dedication to the game. I think sometimes, as I told you guys before, the quarterbacks get too much blame. And sometimes they get too much credit. I'm not concerned about Carson's past. I never would be, that doesn't even hit my mind because I know with me and him and the rest of this staff and this football team where we're going to go. And that's the most important thing. What's gone on for Carson in Cincinnati and me, is over. The future's now, the time is now, and that's what I'm worried about.

Jackson on what did Mr. Davis share with you about Carson Palmer as a quarterback.
One thing I know about Coach is he loved tall, athletic quarterbacks from USC. That's for sure. And one thing he loves is guys that can throw the ball down the field and this man can. So, I think he'd have been very excited, very happy. The thing I got excited about is because his son is very excited and very happy. So that told me what Coach might have felt, too. Mark is very excited about us adding Carson to this football team.

Palmer on the health of his arm and his ability to throw the deep ball
My job is to prove I can do it, and I'll do it. I had an elbow injury in 2008 and I'm fully recovered, I've been rehabbing for almost a year-and-a-half, almost two years after that. I've been throwing and my arm feels as good as it ever has. I'm very confident in it and it's my job to answer that question and the only way I can do it is on the field, throwing.

Palmer on his physical readiness
It's going to take some time. I think the only way you can get in football shape is by playing football. You can run wind sprints and lift weights and do all those things but calling a play in the huddle, when you're tired after you just ran -- you get the wind knocked out of you, getting up off the ground and being ready to talk in the huddle, things like what, catching your breath, that's football shape. And the only way you do that is practice and in a game. So obviously I'm not there yet. But until I'm 75 years old, or until a doctor tells me not to, I'll stay in shape my whole life. I enjoy working out. So although my mindset was "this might be it I might be retired" I still was working out and doing a lot of the things I've been doing my whole career.

Palmer on what about his situation in Cincinnati said it was time to retire rather than go back.It was time to move on. Simply put, it was time for them to move on, it was time for me to move on. And I'm just happy and thankful that the Bengals organization made that decision also and I ended up getting this trade done.

Jackson on dealing with Mike Brown of the Bengals, and did his prior relationship have anything to do with the deal
Probably so, I'm sure. I have so much respect for Mike, having worked there with him -- been in drafts with him, coached some of his best players, in my opinion, in that organization. And I think he has a respect for this organization and Coach Davis. And I think the respect was mutual and he said so. He said, "Hue, I like you and I want to see you do well and I want to see Carson do well. And I want us to do well, being the Bengals." So I think at the end of the day I think it was a fit for everybody and I think it worked out in everybody's behalf."

How rookie Brandon Parker earned respect of Raiders vets right away

How rookie Brandon Parker earned respect of Raiders vets right away

ALAMEDA – The Raiders have high hopes for Brandon Parker. They used a third-round pick thinking the athletic tackle can be a long-term solution on the offensive line.

The North Carolina product wasn’t thinking about the future this spring. Parker was focused on learning a new system, working with new position coach Tom Cable and endearing himself to new teammates.

That last goal isn’t always easy, especially on the offensive line. Rookies are tested and pushed early regardless of position. Offensive linemen want to see you stand up for yourself and protect your own. That is, after all, their primary job description.

Parker did that on the first day of last week’s minicamp, pushed back against defensive lineman Fadol Brown in an exchange that evolved into a post-rep scuffle.

Coaches didn’t love it. It distracted from practice and a two-minute drill. Brown was penalized and ejected from practice for fighting. The offense got some extra yards by penalty and kicking a field goal.

The linemen, however, were pleased to see Parker refusing to back down.

"Brandon stood up for himself,” left guard Kelechi Osemele said. “That was really cool to see. You always want to see that, you worry about a guy’s toughness. He’s a tough kid. He’s been playing well. He’s really intelligent. Really smart.”

Veterans test newbies. Parker made a good impression there.

“That’s a positive impression you want to leave,” Parker said. “You want to show the veterans that you’re not afraid of anything, and they you’ll go to battle with them like they’ll go to battle with you. It’s more a matter of gaining respect than proving you’re the toughest guy out there.”

Scuffles don’t improve your standing with coaches. Studying hard, executing well and flashing athleticism certainly does, especially before the pads come on. That was Parker’s primary objective during the offseason program.

“I think I presented well,” Parker said. “I do a good job retaining information. I didn’t really have a whole lot of mistakes. The first couple days are a whirlwind and a faster pace, but after I got used to it and got my feet wet and started to show the veterans what I can really do, they kind of warmed up to me. It has been a smooth adjustment ever since.”

Parker has had hiccups along the way, including a mistake early in the offseason program. He expected Cable to come up and correct what went wrong. Somebody different came his way quickly.

“I looked back and Donald Penn was there and was one of the first to address me,” Parker said. “Having his experience and (veteran Breno Giacomini) on the team and around to give us technical pointers is great.”

Parker and first-round offensive tackle Kolton Miller received significant work during the offseason program, and were praised for their intelligence and athleticism. There’s plenty of development remaining, but the rookies seem to be off to a good start.

“They’re smart kids. They listen,” center Rodney Hudson said. “They’re learning and working and asking questions, which I think is always important for young guys. To ask questions about where they can do better, and both of those guys do that.”

Watching Geno Atkins has Maurice Hurst excited to earn role in Guenther's defense

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AP

Watching Geno Atkins has Maurice Hurst excited to earn role in Guenther's defense

ALAMEDA – Maurice Hurst is familiar with Paul Guenther’s defensive scheme and his role in it. That knowledge didn’t originate from the Raiders offseason program, or sleepless post-draft nights studying the playbook.

Hurst studied it first at the University of Michigan, focusing on one of planet Earth’s best at his position.

“I’ve been watching Geno Atkins since I was in college,” Hurst said Wednesday. “He’s always someone I’ve had my eye on.”

The veteran Cincinnati Bengal is an elite defensive tackle both stopping the run and pressuring quarterbacks as a three technique, working a scheme Guenther coordinated the last four seasons. Hurst shares similar size, traits and explosiveness off the ball, making Atkins a proper athletic role model. He's a good one, with 61 sacks and six Pro Bowls to his credit.

Time watching Hurst was extremely well spent. The Raiders drafted Hurst in the fifth round – a health issue torpedoed this first-round talent’s draft stock – and paired him with Guenther, who came to Alameda this offseason to coordinate Jon Gruden’s defense.

The Raiders certainly hope Hurst can be like Geno in time, because a dominant interior pass rusher is vital to Guenther’s scheme.

“(Atkins is) strong and he’s fast,” Hurst said. “Those traits translate well in the NFL. He’s able to be very disruptive and get after the quarterback. The three technique is the penetrator of our defense. You have to have someone like Geno to make the defense go. That’s a major part of Coach Guenther's scheme, and why he brought in me and (second-round defensive tackle) P.J. Hall. We have Mario (Edwards). We have a good group of guys who can do what he expects us to do.”

Hurst has immersed himself in Guenther’s scheme since joining the Silver and Black. The Michigan man prides himself on scheme study and proper application in practice, but his head start may have helped. Having an inside man didn’t hurt. Fellow Wolverines defensive lineman Ryan Glasgow was drafted by Cincinnati last season and watched film with Hurst during the offseason.

“I had a pretty good idea of what the defense was like and what coach was expecting,” Hurst said, “from watching film with Ryan and talking to him on FaceTime.”

Hurst likes Guenther’s scheme, and his possible role playing three technique – lining up off the guard’s outside shoulder – for the Raiders.

“It definitely gets me amped up,” Hurst said. “The Bengals, their best player was their three technique. That’s the focal point of their defense, and that’s what Coach Guenther is used to getting, and what he has got his whole time in the NFL (with Atkins). He drafted Geno, and it says something for him drafting me and P.J. I think he expects a lot from us and expects us to fill that role he had with the Bengals.”

Hurst and Hall join Edwards as interior linemen with pass-rush ability. It’s unfair to heap expectations on a rookie and the Raiders won’t, but there’s optimism Hurst will make an instant impact.

He can’t make one right now – he hasn’t put pads on as a Raider – but believes he made a solid first impression during the now concluded offseason program.

“I handle those situations pretty well,” Hurst said. “I try to keep my knowledge of the game up, and I’m always on top of my plays. I’m making sure I always stay true to myself and stay true to the game by working hard and putting in a lot of effort. That’s what can set you apart, being reliable.”