During NFL training camps, we'll be taking some looks at the local reporting to see what stories the hometown papers and fan blogs are saying about their teams. Today, the Oakland Raiders and the first full season with QB Carson Palmer.
Carson Palmer came to the Raiders six games into the season last year, after the Cincinnati Bengals finally relented and traded him after he said he would rather retire than play another snap for the organization. With teams already struggling with chemistry after a shortened offseason, Palmer had his ups and downs trying to get it going in Oakland.
Now that Palmer and the offense will have a full training camp and offseason to get to know each other, the unit is expected to click. One of the main positions to help that happen is at Palmer's blind side protection, where coaches are confident left tackle Jared Veldheer will provide Palmer with the time needed to find receivers.
Monte Poole writes on the San Jose Mercury News that the Raiders staff may have questions about the other ten offensive positions on the field, but Veldheer gives them at least one solid spot.
They believe in quarterback Carson Palmer, but they need to see how he'll adapt to a new offense. They love what running back Darren McFadden has to offer, but they wonder if he can stay healthy. They like their depth at wide receiver, but they're trying to determine how to distribute playing time.
They have confidence in their offensive line, but there remains some form of competition at most of the positions. Veldheer, however, is entrenched at left tackle. No buts, no further questions.
While the offensive line may have their anchor, Palmer is supposedly still finding it tough to get in tune with his receivers. Levi Damien of silverandblackpride.com writes that things haven't been going too smoothly at training camp for the offense, filing this report yesterday.
Palmer looked out of synch again today. This time it was with everyone. Twice he and Jacoby Ford miscommunicated and Ford went long while Palmer thought he was going to go short. Spencer was there both times but was unable to make an interception on either one.
That's not going to make Raider Nation too happy right now. With a much stronger AFC West than we've seen in recent years, the team can't afford to get off to a slow start. The Raiders first preseason game is August 13 at home against the Cowboys, before the regular season starts in a Monday night game against the Chargers on September 10.