Carson Palmer didn't have the greatest start to his career as an Oakland Raider on Sunday when he entered the game at halftime against the Kansas City Chiefs. Down 14-0, Palmer proceeded to throw three interceptions over the course of the second half as the Raiders fell 28-0.
Oakland gave up a lot (a first-round draft pick and a conditional second-round draft pick) to secure Palmer's services from the Cincinnati Bengals last week. The quarterback must have several thoughts swirling through his head as he begins his Raiders career, and he joined 95.7 THE GAME's The Drive on Wednesday to shed some insight on said thoughts.
Asked about how much pressure he's feeling to get the Raiders to the playoffs this season, Palmer responded: "A ton, a ton, and I love every bit of it...If it wasn't that type of pressure it was pressure of being the number one pick and having heavy expectations for being a franchise quarterback and I enjoy that part of the game and I think that's why I got put at quarterback at a young age, you either like it or you don't."
Palmer is a prime candidate to handle pressure, given the expectations placed on him in previous seasons. Obstacles preventing Palmer from securing a playoff berth for Oakland this year may not be mental, however. His physical stamina and well-being may be of greater concern: Palmer has struggled over the past two seasons and could continue to do so this year after being inactive through the season's first half.
He also talked about his relationship with head coach Hue Jackson on Wednesday: "I had a blast playing for him and a blast being recruited by him (at USC)...Having the opportunity to play for him and kind of get back together and do a little bit of the old stuff, a little bit of the new stuff and find out what works best for this team, it'll be fun."
The duo seem to genuinely like each other, a good sign for Raiders fans as the offense continues to grow.
Towards the end of the interview, Palmer was asked about former teammate Terrell Owens, who is trying to get back into the NFL after surgery following an ACL tear, and the possibility of the Raiders signing him: "We (the Raiders) have a stable of young horses that can run and guys that can just move. Very young, very inexperienced but tons of potential and it's tough to give up a young guy with a lot of potential for a guy that's got a lot of history in the league that's in his late 30's."
It sounds like the Raiders will take a pass on T.O., just like every other team in the league at this point. Perhaps Palmer can appreciate the opportunity afforded to him, one that Owens is currently in search of, with Oakland this season. He has a new chance with a new NFL franchise, something that players aren't always given in this league. The intrigue of Palmer's second journey will take place on the field over the next two months, measured by Palmer's success or failure in leading the Raiders back into the playoffs after several long years of mediocrity.