Quarterback Carson Palmer had a rough debut for the Raiders vs. Kansas City. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Carson Palmer said he was excited and uncomfortable at the same time Sunday in what turned out to be his ugly debut in a Raiders uniform.
Now, he says he’ll be “grinding” to make certain that uncomfortable feeling is dead and buried by the time the Raiders (4-3) play their next game on Nov. 6 against the Broncos (2-4).
Palmer came on in relief of starter Kyle Boller at quarterback Sunday with Oakland already trailing 21-0, and connected on just eight of 21 throws for 116 yards with three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
After being acquired Tuesday in a trade with the Bengals, Palmer admitted he was rusty and still not familiar enough with the Raiders schemes.
“I was excited to be playing again,” he told reporters after the game, a 28-0 loss to the Chiefs at O.co Coliseum. “But there was such a limited playbook with little to no experience with the receivers, it definitely is an uncomfortable position to be in.”
With a bye week this week and almost two weeks to absorb and practice, Palmer vows to be much better against the Broncos.
“This bye week couldn’t be at a better time,” Palmer told the Sacramento Bee’s Jason Jones. “It’s enough time to get work in early next week with these young guys and get the playbook down and then have Monday and Tuesday when we get back from the bye to get even more in with these guys, and really the game week for Denver starts Wednesday, so it’s going to be a very important week for this team, but also a very important week for me.”
Palmer said he knew just three or four pass-protection schemes against the Chiefs, and just part of the playbook, plus said his timing and rhythm with his receivers wasn’t there, “so I’ve got a lot of ground to make up.”
Said head coach Hue Jackson of Palmer, who had been a holdout all through training camp and the regular season: “The next time he plays, it won’t be like he hasn’t been under center and seen a fast rush coming at him.”
Whether Palmer can get up to speed quickly and become the quarterback the Raiders hope he can be – the one they traded two high picks for – will play out over the next few weeks.
Wrote ESPN’s Bill Williamson Monday: “Palmer will be better soon than he was Sunday. I’m not sure if he’ll ever live up to the Raiders’ expectations and whether he’ll be worth the two premium picks Oakland gave up for him. But he’s a pro and he will be a serviceable player once he shakes off the rust and learns the Raiders’ system.”