QB Carson Palmer. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Q:Hue had mentioned in the press conference that the reason they traded for you was basically this moment; is that a lot of pressure to put on one guy's shoulders?
Palmer:No, pressure is part of the position and I've been playing it for a long time and understand and know that that doesn't need to be said to me by the coach, I understand that.
Q:How do you gauge out here in the middle of the week when guys are ready, there's a lot of guys on this roster who haven't been in a position like this. You know what it looks like, do you help those guys and how can you tell when they're getting it?
Palmer:I don't think you make too big of a deal of it. It's just another game, all games are important, all games we need to win. Especially with young guys that don't have a lot of experience, you don't want to freak anybody out or make people think that you need to play differently or make a spectacular play or do anything out of the ordinary, you just need to do your job and go through your footwork, where your eyes should be, where your hands should be all those little things and not put to much emphasis on 'we have to win we have to win we have to win.' Guys just need to go out and play and do their jobs.
Q:How aware are you of the scenarios you guys have facing you and what needs to happen besides you wining?
Palmer:I don't know and I've heard a bunch of different scenarios but none of that - it's all irrelevant if we don't handle our business. So I'm taking the mindset that we need to go out here and play good football and win and whatever happens, happens. I'm not going to worry about who's playing who, where we might end up, who might come to us if we win and somebody else loses, you just can't focus on all that. You got to focus on the Chargers and that's our sole focus and my sole focus.
Q:You played pretty well against San Diego in San Diego, what do you see from that, what's changed since the last time you played them?
Palmer:It's the same guys, they've been relatively healthy. Shaun Phillips is probably going to play who wasn't on the field last time; he's definitely a difference maker. They're doing a couple things different coverage wise and scheme wise but for the most part it's the same group and they've kind of been up and down offensively and had some big games and then had a game like last week. So, we know that they're coming in here to win and they're coming here to knock us out of the playoffs and they're not going to roll over. This is a team that's going to fight for their coach, they're going to fight just to knock the Raiders out of the playoffs, that's going to be a big focus for them and we understand that.
Q:What was it like having Jacoby [Ford] back out there and how much was he able to do for you guys?
Palmer:It was great. He was in for most of practice and didn't get a ton of balls thrown his way today, but it's been awhile since he's been in position to block DBs and got reverses and screens and all those things so it was good to kind of get his feet wet for the first day and he'll get more and more as the week goes on.
Q:When Denarius [Moore] came back, the offense kind of opened up a little more having that deep threat, how much would it help to have two of those guys to be able to go this week?
*Palmer: *It'd be huge, if we could get McFadden back, we're getting to the point where we could be getting really healthy and a lot healthier. But we're going to take it one day at a time and it's not a situation where you want to save anybody and it's not a situation where you want to rush somebody back on the field. They're such kind of weird injuries, they all have that foot injury that at any time can go. So, the trainers are going to do a good job making sure they're ready to be on the field when they're on the field.
Q:Was that last game against the Chargers the high point from the offense so far in terms of how you guys clicked a little bit out there?
Palmer:Big play wise I think so, I mean there was a handful of big plays. I think half of the big plays that have happened against the Chargers this year were in that game. But definitely there's some areas we need to clean up, we've looked at the film and looked at a lot of their film. But there were some nice big plays that happened but a lot of areas we can clean up on and things we're talking about and things we're working through.
Q:Any explanation for your numbers against these guys, 129.5 passer rating, 11-2 TDs to interception, just played so well career not just one game, there's been a series of games?
Palmer:No, I mean if anything it's always fun to play against your hometown team. For whatever reason we've matched up well and made plays, but this is a team that can make quarterbacks look really bad. It's a defense that you know - Quentin Jammer's been a great corner in this league for a long time, they can rush the passer, so it's a good unit and we've been on the winning side the last couple of times, need to keep it there.
Q:Being a veteran you can shake off interceptions, I'm sure you'd rather not have them at all, and there's been a few of them these last few games where I'm sure you're maybe smacking your own head thinking how did I throw that. How do you work through that?
Palmer:You can't dwell on the last play. Playing quarterback you've got to move on, good, bad, and indifferent you have to move on. That's something I've learned when you make a bad play or a dumb play, you need to make a great play in the next series or the next opportunity. But if you start thinking about what happened in the first quarter or last week or last month or whatever it is, your mind's not in the right place for the current play and for the present. So that's just a lesson I learned a long time ago playing this position.
Q:The game aside, I'm sure you go back on the film afterwards during the week and review why you might have thrown it; is there a common denominator?
Palmer:No, when you look at negative plays as a quarterback it's for a number of reasons. Sometimes it's a bad read, bad throw, bad route, you know there are a number of issues and if you find a certain trend, then you need to change it. I personally just need to make better decisions at certain times. Sometimes things happen, balls get tipped, you get hit when your throwing, whatever it is and those are things you can't avoid but you've got to overcome them and move on.
Q:Excuses aside, how much of it is still - you got here seven games into the season, you're just not going to be everything you want to be say if you were here from the beginning?
Palmer:I mean there's definitely a learning curve that I've talked about with you guys that coming in it's learning everything and that's part of it, but I pride myself on I've been playing for a long time and I expect to complete every ball. Whether it's realistic or not, I don't make any excuses of timing with the receiver or whatever it could be. I just try to learn from the mistakes I make and move forward.
Q:What do you think of the penalty thing, it's been so hard for this team to solve? You've only been here for half the year, but Hue [Jackson] talks about it all the time, he's put an emphasis on it, you guys have talked about it, why is it?
Palmer:I wish I knew. I wish we knew what it was. It's not a bunch of false starts, it's not just holdings, it's kind of all over the place in special teams on a touchdown a delay of game, it's been a weird year. There have been some calls that you can't find on film when you go back and watch them, it's not one thing, it's not a trend. As those flags get going in games I always have guys coming up to me on the sidelines saying 'this is what happens when you play for the Raiders.' Especially I think when we were in Minnesota and the flag just kept coming out, just kept coming out, but it's not one thing or just this or just that it's been a number of issues.
Q:Carson, we're talking about the biggest game in the season with the Raiders maybe the biggest game in many years, for a guy who wasn't on a team back in August, this is where you want to be, did you ever imagine you might be here?
Palmer:Didn't know where I was going to end up, but these are why you play. These types of games, especially when you get to play them at home, these type of games are why you do what you do in February, March, April, May when nobody's watching. Why you're staying up late at night watching film, this is why you do that, to be prepared. Every kid wants to play in the NFL and the next dream is to play in a game like this and the next dream is to win the Super Bowl. So this is a big moment for this team and our fans and the fact that we get to play at home is obviously a huge advantage any time we get to play in front of our fans in that stadium because they can be so loud. So it's exciting, this whole team's excited.
Q:What's going through your mind at the end of regulation last week, and then we get the play call for the deep ball DHB [Darius Heyward-Bey]?
Palmer:Just hoping we get the right coverage, just knowing with the specialist we have and the kicker we have we didn't need to get way down there. Just knowing with the strength of his leg and what he can do. Just get us within fifty yards and he'll make it and then when the play came up just hoping it was the right coverage and that the safeties bite on the run fake and all that.
Q:Did you have two run fakes on that, it looked like you were faking also a reverse and Bush going off?
Palmer:Yeah, it was just a heavy run play-action fake with a reverse that we'd run earlier in the game. So it was well set up by the coaches.
Q:Carson, it looks like Hue likes to take some chances once in awhile. Is that kind of fun as a quarterback to know that you're going to have a variety of options?
Palmer:It's great. You're never in a position in a game where he won't call a certain play on the call sheet. Everything is live first quarter, fourth quarter, red zone, backed up, wherever you are. Which is fun, but it also keeps defenses on their toes, it's very little predictability from him and as a DB you never know when that receiver is gong to turn and go.