Baseball begins soon. That’s a relief to me because it will mean I don’t have to think about football for a while. Football thinking can be painful and confusing (like Jr. High-school) for Raider fans. Here is a final thought about Oakland Raiders football before I shut down that part of my brain for a while.
The Oakland Raiders have been making a few small moves to clear up cap space and plan for the future. None of those moves has involved trading Carson Palmer. This likely means Reggie McKenzie is looking to build an offense around Carson Palmer.
Let’s ask the Cincinnati Bengals about that plan.
Cincinnati Bengals: Hello?
Me: “Hi, I’d like to speak to the Cincinnati Bengals, please.”
Cincinnati Bengals: “This is the Bengals. How can we help you?”
Me: “I’d like to ask you a few questions about Carson Palmer.”
Cincinnati Bengals: … (click)…
Palmer has his moments, I admit. But so did Jeff George, who was the last gun-slinger to wear the #3 jersey in Oakland. And from what I’ve seen, Palmer’s performances are disturbingly similar to George’s: Flashes of glory and impressive stats* that somehow add up to a barely mediocre overall offense and a season with between 4-8 wins.
I like the run game and I still believe that every great offensive scheme starts on the ground. Going into the last two games of the season, the Raiders had run the ball with less frequency than any team in modern football history. I know some of that comes with running back Darren McFadden being injured while putting on his socks or reaching for a cup of water… but the increased role of Carson Palmer gave Raider fans a chance to see what Cincy fans saw for years: Palmer has his moments… and between those moments are defenders he doesn’t see.
(*over 4000 passing yards in 2012)