great interview thanks!
1-on-1 with Raiders QB Carson Palmer
May 24, 2012, 3:24 pm
Programming note: Watch SportsNet Central tonight at 6, 10:30 p.m. and midnight for part two of Kate Longworth's exclusive sit down with Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!
Last year was a roller-coaster for veteran QB Carson Palmer, and it changed him as a person and a player.
In a 1-on-1 interview at Raiders OTAs, he detailed the pressure associated with last season's blockbuster deal with the Bengals, explained the challenges and excitement of learning Oakland's new West Coast offense, analyzed the receiving corps, and shared his opinion that running back Darren McFadden could be used as a receiver if the team had to go that route.
Kate Longworth: What a difference a year makes. Take me through the last 6-to-9 months and how it has shaped and changed you as a person and a player.
Carson Palmer: It's been wild. You know, when you first get to a new place, new offense, new teammates, new everything -- there's a lot of catching up to do, obviously. And to be in the same place, same teammates, another new offense and kind of new regime, it's just so nice to be able to take a break and sort of absorb it all as far as the offense is concerned, and the new schemes, terminology and all those things. It's just nice to really have an opportunity to sit down, study it, digest it and go out on field and practice it and then learn from the mistakes -- the good, the bad, all those things you make on the field and really let the plays and offense really settle in and really get a chance to understand what you are doing offensively.
KL: How much time did you spend going over last year, or because things are so different, do you just let that go, be the past and start over this year?
CP: I definitely spent a lot of time looking at myself on film, not necessarily what we were doing as a whole because the offense is completely new, completely different. But just try to pick up on little things to work on in January, February, March. Technical things as far as playing the position of quarterback goes, and trying to get those kind of sharpened up ... the little things I might have given away with my eyes, or with certain reads or certain technique things -- sharpening those things up coming in to OTAs and hopefully having already improved on those things so I can get ahead with the new offense.
KL: You already have a head start when comparing to last year. Now do you feel "I can fine tune the player I am" because I imagine last year you felt like you were playing catch up?
CP: This has been offense. It's a brand new offense. Everything is different. The run game is different, the terminology is different, routes are completely different, there's really not anything that kind of carries over from last year so it's a whole new learning process for all of us on offense. It's been great to study it together, and watch it on film and really watch the success of the Houston Texans -- where [offensive coordinator Greg] Knapp came from. And to just see for myself -- see guys wide open, running certain routes, see a defense's confusion on film. It's been really good for us as an offensive group to really study the Houston Texans and see how these things can correlate to what we have personnel-wise on offense.
KL: Knowing last year that one of your reflections was wishing you had more 1-on-1 time with [former coach] Hue Jackson, how would you describe your relationship with Coach Knapp?
CP: Very personal. He's in every single meeting. He runs the offense meetings, he does the install, he's in on the QB meetings. We meet very often, and really get the chance to get to know him as a play-caller, get to know him as a coach and get to know him on a personal level. But also get to know why he likes certain plays in certain situations, in certain field positions, in certain points of game, certain downs and distances, so that as you are on the field and plays are being called, you kind of have a little bit of a hint with things you have learned in the offseason with things he likes to do in different situations.
KL: Coach [Dennis] Allen has said you're going to run this style of offense but it's also based around your strengths out there. What would you say are your strengths?
CP: I have been playing this position in this league for a long time so I understand certain aspects of defenses and how to decipher things very early. Being around a lot of different guys, I got a really good feel for what we have personnel-wise offensively, certain strengths, certain things. There are different receivers that like the ball in different places on a number of routes. Being around the league for a long time, playing the game for a long time, having that veteran experience is huge for me.
KL: And as you dive into this new playbook, what's it been like for you to have Matt Leinart joining the team? Obviously he is familiar with this offense and you are familiar with him. What have been some advantages of that addition for you?
CP: Well, he's been in this offense for years. He understands it. There's always questions you can ask your coach, your coordinator. But then there are times where they are coaching or they are on the field doing something, and just being able to quickly bounce a question off a guy who has been in the pocket and actually run the offense, is really nice. The experience he has in his years with this offense, is something that's just easy for myself and Terrelle Pryor and even different receivers, to be able to ask him, either when a coach is busy or when a question comes up and hits your head. He's got so much experience in it, it's obviously very comforting having him around.
KL: It's so early when you are talking 2012 season but for me, watching all the practices last year, ending the season and then just seeing a few this season, it seems like the chemistry is coming along between you and your receivers. Would you agree, and who is standing out to you?
CP: We've been bitten by the injury bug recently, especially at the receiver position. But obviously Jacoby Ford has been on the field a ton and he's made a bunch of plays. I haven't really played a whole lot with him because he was injured last year but he and I have a real good rhythm going. Darrius Heyward-Bey and I have really been clicking. We spent a lot of time together this offseason. And then obviously, Denarius Moore has been obviously a big playmaker and a very special talent. He's had a little bit of an injury thing. But it's been good for other guys because there have been rookies and draft picks and free agents, guys getting forced into different situations that normally would be standing on the sideline watching. So it's great when you do get dinged up here and there because you give other guys experience and it's also good to see can they can play -- you figure that out early. It doesn't take to training camp to see if a guy can win in certain coverages against the starting defense when he's a rookie. So it's been good for us. But as far as the chemistry is coming, it's really been a great opportunity for us to be on the same page and just work, and work and work.
KL: When you talk about the health of this team, I've got to imagine there's a big sigh of relief when you see (Darren) McFadden out on the field. What kind of excitement does he bring to you when you think about how dynamic this offense can be with him healthy?
CP: Yeah, this offense can be really difficult to stop and difficult to prepare for. Obviously he can run the ball really well, everybody knows that. But if we had to, we can line him up at receiver and play a game with him at receiver. He understands the game so well. He understands zone, and man-reads and running routes. He catches the ball as good as any receiver and seeing what he can do in the screen game is really going to take his game to the next level because he is so explosive with the ball in his hands. If we can get him space between himself and the next defender and have an offensive line pulling out in the screen, he's the type of guy that can score from anywhere on the field.
KL: And obviously the Raiders sacrificed a lot to get you here and show you they want you as their QB -- now do you feel any extra pressure to show you belong here and this is the right direction to go?
CP: Absolutely ... absolutely. I have been playing QB for a long time and I understand the pressure side of it. That's one of my favorite parts of the position is the pressure you are in week in, week out, offseason, during the season, postseason. That's why I started playing the position a long time ago, is that I enjoy that part of it. There are so many little things that come with this position and pressures are one of the best parts of it. But I definitely feel the pressure and I think every quarterback in this league feels a tremendous amount of pressure. It's just part of the deal, it comes with the territory.
KL: So can you use that outside chatter to fuel your success out on the field?
CP: I could, I guess, if I wanted to spend time listening to it, responding to it, or whatever ... but I am so busy with what we are doing as an offense and what I am trying to do as a quarterback that I am not worried about what's going on outside. I am worried what's going on in our building, on our team and especially on our offense.
KL: So how do you think you go out there and prove this was the right direction for the Raiders?
CP: Winning games.
KL: Any goals you've set? Playoffs obviously I know are a goal the minute you step on the field, but what are some of the bench marks you've set for yourself?
CP: I've never really set personal goals for myself as far as yardage is concerned, touchdowns and all of that. I want to win every time I step on the field. I want to throw a ton of touchdown passes. But if the touchdown pass isn't there I want to throw the check-down to McFadden and see him get first downs and get out of bounds. As far as team goals, we haven't really talked about that. We've been so focused installing the new offense, defense, special teams but there's no reason our goals shouldn't be to step on the field and win every game. It hasn't been done very often but we are going to set our goals high. We expect greatness with what we are doing. All the time we are putting in out here and in the weight room and all these things, there's no reason not to shoot for the stars.
KL: When you look back on your career is the best of Carson Palmer still to come? Obviously, the years help in learning the game, but also it takes a toll on the body. Where are you at as an athlete?
CP: I feel like the best is yet to come. Physically, I only played in a handful of games last year. This is going on 10 years, but my rookie year I didn't play at all. I didn't take one snap. My body is feeling great. The new strength staff is doing a phenomenal job and I am doing a lot of things I haven't done since college. I feel stronger than ever and I am in as good as shape as I have ever been in. I want to play for a long time. I don't at all look like or feel like this is the twilight of my career. This is a fresh start, a new beginning and I have a lot of football in me.
KL: What are fans going to see of this new regime?
CP: A disciplined football team that plays hard through the whistle, that understands their assignments and is willing to do whatever it takes to win. That's something Coach Allen has come in and preached. The first thing he talked about is we're going to be a disciplined football team and discipline sets you up for so many positive things down the line -- but first and foremost disciplined team.
KL: What are your thoughts on Terrelle Pryor? What have you seen from him?
CP: Terrelle has been awesome. He's pushed me every single day. He's been my workout partner, study partner and he's so gifted, so athletic. He wants to be great, so bad. It's been really fun to have a young guy push me. For myself, selfishly, I look at it that way, but Terrelle's got so much potential, so much talent. I am happy to see a guy come in with that much athletic ability that works just as hard, and puts in the time to really understand the game, the position adn what he's called to do leadership wise, what he's called to do bringing younger guys along that are older than him. I am excited about Terrelle's future.
great interview thanks!
Sounds like TP has the #2 spot locked up and they are going to give him some serious reps, and roll with him as the #2 and we will see if he can sink or swim after CP retires. Congrats TP.
The more Carson interviews I see ...The more I feel Carson is going to have a great season (well...depending on Knapp...) Carson seems really comfortable about what is going on.
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lightming in a bottle.
The guys has every reason to be extra extra motivated, I mean forget about what the so-called experts say. All he has to do is look at all the pessimism towards him on this sight
I'm not saying that Knapp will be as effective of a playcaller as Kubiak, but I expect a vertical offense and explosive plays in the passing game ala the Texans
I guess if Carson is excepting of Knapp i can be too....for now...:SIGH:
Articulate guy saying all the right things, lets hope it translates in games......
CP and Shaub are about the same size but I believe that CP is a better passer and more mobile QB that Matt Shaub. In 2009 and 2010 seasons Shaub passed for over 4,000 yards and last year he was well on his way to another 4,000 yard season. With our offensive talent this offense should be explosive yet balanced with a nice mixture of speed and power and running and throwing. I'm not one of those Knapp haters or doubters because he never got a fair shake the first time around. This time its his offense and he is control and I think he will succeed.
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