Palmer breaks offseason silence on Sirius XM radio

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Palmer breaks offseason silence on Sirius XM radio

Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer broke his long offseason silence on Wednesday, joining Sirius XM's Adam Schein and former Raiders QB Rich Gannon on the "Sirius XM Blitz." Palmer spoke of Hue Jackson's firing, his offseason plans, the excitement he feels for the upcoming offseason and he affinity he feels for receiver Denarius Moore.Following then, and with a tip of the cap to Bay Area News Group's Steve Corkran for transcription, a sampling of what Palmer spoke about on the showOn the firing of Hue Jackson, who orchestrated his trade to the Raiders from Cincinnati: "It was tough. Myself and a lot of guys on the team were close with Hue, and good friends, and looked up to Hue in a lot of different ways. Its going to be different. It sounds like things are really changing in a lot of different areas and going in a number of different directions, so it will be exciting and this team will be ready to roll once the offseason kicks off in April."
On if he's had a chance to sit and take with general manager Reggie McKenzie or coach Dennis Allen yet: "Not really. I talked to Reggie McKenzie a couple of days after hed been hired, just more of a kind of meet and greet, and I talked to coach Allen once on the phone and hes very energetic. I know hes very excited at this opportunity and Im excited to see what he brings to the team."On if he could adequately describe the past 365 days in his life: "No. Not in a word or one sentence even. Its wild and I wouldnt say 'concerned,' but I think youre always concerned a little bit about your job especially when a new guy comes in. But at the end of the day, Ive been busting my butt, Im going to go in, and as soon as I get a chance to learn this offense, Ive been trying to get a playbook and film, but theres a lot of league-wide restrictions on that. So I havent even had a chance to get any information from the organization just because theres some loop holes and different things when you change regimes. Ive been champing at the bit and all I can really do is get prepared and be a leader, and be a veteran, and help out the young guys and take care of my job and the reset of ithow it falls. Concern isnt the right word, Im just excited at getting an opportunity and looking forward to the future."On how things will be different this season with an entire offseason and working with a new offensive coordinator in Greg Knapp: "Im getting ready to head up to L.A. to train. The guy Ive been training with for the last seven or eight years has a gym up there and thats where I spend the offseason, getting ready with him. Ive been in contact with all my receivers and even guys like Marcel Reece and Kevin Boss, David Ausberry, some younger guys that Raider fans havent heard of that they should be excited about. Well get together in L.A. and have some throwing sessions set up before we get back to Oakland and before we get the playbook. Before we get to 7-on-7 sessions and the team drills that were going to be doing in OTAs and minicamps. We have a chance to get our feet and just kind of get back in the swing of things before were out in front of the coaches and in front of the organization, just to kind of get the rust off and get ready for those OTAs. We dont just show up at OTAs and say, all right, lets go. We want to be prepared and at least somewhat on the same page or as close to being on the same page as we can be heading into OTAs."On where he is now as a quarterback, and health-wise: "Health, 100 percent. Most quarterbacks this time of year, youre feeling probably as good as youre going to feel, I probably feel as good as Im going to feel in all of 2012 and 2013. I was fortunate to come out of the season without any offseason surgeries or any big rehab concerns. I only played in a handful of games so I didnt have a chance to get beat up or worn down. We finished the year at the O in front of our fans and didnt finish the way we wanted playing against the Chargers, but after that, I felt as good as Ive ever felt in my entire career at the end of the season because I only played barely half the season.On what happened last season: "What didnt happen? Obviously losing Darren McFadden was a huge blow. He was such a huge part of the offense. Part of the passing game, part of the running game and pass protection-wise. So losing him was obviously a big blow, and Jacoby Ford, we lost for all those games. Denarius Moore, who I could not be more excited about, we lost him for a handful of games. Its no excuse, but when you sit back and play the 'What could have been' game, and you think about losing those guys for those games, that was obviously a big blow to us. But to see a guy like Michael Bush come in and have the year he had in a backup role, and to see the way we finished, youve got to take your hat off to coach Jackson and the job he did offensively, and coach Al Saunders, because I think we finished in the top seven or eight or nine in offense, even with losing all those guys, so you can really get excited about the future when you think of it that way. Getting some guys healthy, and a guy I mentioned, David Ausberry, a tight end, just a freak athlete and a guy that can do so many different things. You get him back, you get Taiwan Jones, another rookie that was injured in those games, and just an explosive player that youve got to get excited about the things he can do with the football. There are a lot of things to get excited about and the future is definitely bright."On the direction of the team and how close it is to being a playoff team: "I cant speak on the direction of the organization, thats definitely Mr. McKenzie and the organization and the people upstairs at the facility. Thats what theyre looking at and figuring out right now. But as far as being close to a playoff team, I think its more than that. I think were close to a championship team. Theres a lot of work that needs to be put in and a lot of hurdles that we need to get over, but I think we need to be heading into this season thinking more than just playoffs and trying to get to the playoffs and trying to win the AFC West. I think its bigger than that, and we definitely have a lot of pieces to the puzzle than being more than just a playoff team."On if there is enough talent at the wide receiver position: "Theres definitely the talent in the room. You look at Denarius Moore, what he did as a rookie, and he missed a handful of games, was amazing. Not statistically or the numbers, but the big plays that he made in big games. Momentum-changing games. Game-winning plays. You look at what he can bring to the table and just talking to him, like I have this offseason and just hearing the excitement of his voice and the disappointment in his voice that he didnt do more, couldnt do more. Those things like that are what excite me. Thats a big-time receiver in the making, and hes only going to get better. Then you look at Darrius Heyward-Bey, had the best year of his career. Jacoby Ford was hurt a lot but made some tremendous plays. And then Louis Murphy, a guy that was the leading receiver on the team in years past and didnt have the year he wanted. And is just hungry and anticipating a big year for himself. So theres a handful of guys that you get really excited about and need a lot of work and a lot of polishing, but I dont think its a concern or an area of concern or should be an area of concern because were close at that position."On if he needed a change of scenery: "I dont want a change of scenery. Im happy where I am."On if he feels pressure to live up to the trade: "Oh, absolutely. Absolutely, without a doubt. Playing the position of quarterback, theres always pressure, and theres always outside pressures, but with myself, Ive always put more inside pressure, more internal pressure. Pressure that I put on myself is bigger than anything I heard or felt from the outside. But with the trade and with all thats gone on throughout my career, I feel a tremendous amount of pressure and I love it. Thats why I started playing quarterback, I think, at a young age, the balls in your hands every single play. Theres only two players that can say that and that's the center and the quarterback. And Ive always relished being in that position and just all the little things that come along with it. The expectations from a leadership role, the expectations from performance and obviously the outside pressures that come with the position."On what kind of changes he expects from new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp: "I dont know. I cant wait to find out. Ive been trying to get my hands on a playbook, but like I said before, theres some loopholes with the new regime coming in and all these new CBA, NFLPA, all that stuff thats been going on the last year."On if he can call fellow QBs like Matt Schaub that have played for Knapp to get their takes on him: "Him, and Matt Leinart, and Kevin Walter are all buddies and Ive talked to all them, and everybodys raved about him. Ive talked to a handful of guys that are still with the Raiders who played for him when he was with the Raiders a couple years back. Ive asked around plenty, and Ive gotten my hands on some 2010 film, some older Texans film, where they were kind of doing some of the same stuff with the long play-action stuff and what excites me about it is it sounds like its a lot of play-action, a lot of boots, and throwing the ball down the field, and using, it sounds like were going to use that speed we have on the outside and try to throw the ball over peoples heads. We did that quite a bit last year and had quite a bit of success throwing the ball deep and it sounds like its going to be some of the same stuff and Im excited to see the direction of the run game. It sounds like its going to be a zone-running scheme and theres definitely a lot of excitement, not just myself, exchanging words with Tyvon Branch, hopefully we get him back, hes a safety that had a great year and hes had a great career in Oakland and I know hes excited about some of the changes on defense. I keep saying it, but its an exciting time."

Boswell boots Steelers to AFC championship with six field goals

Boswell boots Steelers to AFC championship with six field goals

BOX SCORE

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Who needs to reach the end zone when you have Le'Veon Bell chewing up yards and the clock, and Chris Boswell setting an NFL playoff record with six field goals?

Throw in a stingy Pittsburgh defense for most of Sunday night, and a multitude of mistakes by Kansas City, and the Steelers' 18-16 victory sent them into the AFC championship game.

The Steelers (13-5) needed to hold off a last-ditch threat by the Chiefs (12-5) before advancing to face New England next Sunday night for a spot in the Super Bowl. The Patriots won at Pittsburgh 27-16, but Ben Roethlisberger was injured and didn't play.

"I think it's going to be a showdown," Bell said. "Two great quarterbacks going head to head. Two of the best teams in the AFC. It's time to settle it next week."

Since 2001, the Patriots and Steelers have combined to win nine AFC titles.

Spencer Ware's 1-yard touchdown run took Kansas City within 18-16. The Chiefs at first converted the 2-pointer to tie it, but tackle Eric Fisher - the first overall selection in the 2013 draft - was penalized for holding. The next try failed.

With 2:43 remaining, Justin Gilbert misplayed the kick return and was tackled at the Pittsburgh 5. Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for 7 yards on third down and Pittsburgh then ran out the clock, securing a ninth straight victory for the Steelers. The Chiefs have not won a home playoff game since 1994, losing five in a row.

The scoring started furiously in the opening minutes, then the game became a kicking exhibition by Boswell, who also had six field goals in the regular season against Cincinnati. And Bell put on a virtuoso running performance, patiently finding holes and then exploding through them. He added a team-record 170 yards rushing to the 167 he had in a win over Miami last week.

"The coaches put a lot of trust in me to get the job done," Bell said of his 30 carries. "Just run hard. Just picked my spots where I could and run hard."

The Steelers became first team to win a playoff game without a TD since eventual Super Bowl champion Indianapolis in the 2006 AFC divisional round at Baltimore.

Using a no-huddle attack almost to perfection early on, the Steelers drove deep into Kansas City territory. But they bogged down inside the 5 and Boswell made a 22-yard field goal.

The Chiefs were just as efficient on a six-play march capped by receiver Albert Wilson lining up in the backfield, then slipping uncovered into the end zone for a 5-yard score.

Pittsburgh's answer came on a 52-yard heave to All-Pro Brown, who somehow was covered by linebacker Justin Houston. That led to Boswell's second field goal, a 38-yarder. He added a 36-yarder to cap a 14-play drive on which Pittsburgh again barely huddled.

A clean game up until then turned to, well, turnovers, on successive series. Bud Dupree pounded Alex Smith, whose pass shot high into the air and was caught by linebacker Ryan Shazier.

The Steelers got to the Kansas City 5, where Frank Zombo leaped to deflect Roethlisberger's throw, and All-Pro safety Eric Berry - burned for 26 yards on the previously play - picked it off in the end zone.

Boswell's fourth field goal, from 45 yards, made it 12-7 at the half. His 43-yarder, setting the franchise record for a postseason game and tying the league mark of five, came on Pittsburgh's first series of the second half. A 43-yarder midway in the fourth quarter gave Boswell the NFL record.

"It's just about doing my job," Boswell said. "Coming out here, put it through the yellow pipes. Don't really think too much. Don't think like I'm the guy or anything. I'm just doing my job and doing my one-eleventh for the team."

Kansas City's Cairo Santos got in on the kicking act with a 48-yarder to make it 15-10. At that point, 10 seconds from the end of the third quarter, the Chiefs were outgained 333 yards to 150.

WEATHERMAN

Switching the game from noon local time to an evening kickoff to avert an ice storm had no effect on the crowd. Fans arrived early, tailgated in the rain as the worst of the storm never hit the area. But fog rolled into Arrowhead Stadium in the second quarter, obscuring some views from on high. Not that what was going on was worth watching for Chiefs fans.

NOTES

Bell rushed for almost as many yards (101) in the first half as the Chiefs gained (106). ... Boswell's four first-half field goals tied the team record for an entire playoff game. ... Chiefs All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce had a rough game, including a big drop and a 15-yard roughing penalty in the third period.

UP NEXT

Steelers: Head to New England for a shot at making the Super Bowl.

Lewis' historic performance leads Patriots past Texans, into AFC title game

Lewis' historic performance leads Patriots past Texans, into AFC title game

BOX SCORE

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots are headed back to a familiar spot: the AFC championship game.

Dion Lewis had a 13-yard touchdown reception , a 98-yard kickoff return for a score, and a late 1-yard touchdown to help the Patriots hold off the Houston Texans 34-16 on Saturday night and advance to an NFL-record sixth straight conference title game.

Lewis became the fifth Patriots player to score three touchdowns in a playoff game. He's also the first player in the Super Bowl era to score on a rush, a catch and a kick return in a postseason game.

The Patriots (15-2) survived a gritty effort by the Texans' top-ranked defense, which intercepted Brady twice. Houston's special teams also forced a third turnover.

But the Texans (10-8) couldn't find enough traction on offense to take full advantage of the Patriots' mistakes, settling for field goals on both of Brady's picks.

New England led just 17-13 at the half, but pushed its lead to 24-13 early in the third quarter on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Brady to James White.

Houston's Brock Osweiler was intercepted three times after that, and the Texans managed only a field goal the rest of game.

It was the first breakout game of the season for Lewis, who spent the first eight games of the season on injured reserve recovering from offseason surgery on his left knee.

Brady finished 18 of 38 for 287 yards and two touchdowns and was showered with chants of "MVP! MVP!" and "Brady! Brady!" late in the game. Julian Edelman was Brady's most dependable target, catching eight passes for 137 yards.

Osweiler was just 23 of 40 for 198 yards with the two turnovers.

When New England did have the ball in the first half, it gave Houston a steady diet of Lewis early with LeGarrette Blount coming off an illness that limited him during practice this week.

Without Blount to contend with, the Texans applied pressure to Brady.

A.J. Bouye intercepted a slightly overthrown ball by Brady late in the first quarter on a pass that bounced out of the hands of receiver Michael Floyd. That led to a 27-yard field goal that cut New England's lead to 14-6.

On the ensuing kickoff, Lewis coughed up the ball on a hit from Akeem DentEddie Pleasant fell on it at the Patriots 12, and two plays later, Brock Osweiler hit C.J. Fiedorowicz from 8 yards out to cut the deficit to 14-13.

Brady only threw two interceptions during the regular season. With his 28 touchdown passes, that was the lowest touchdown to interception ratio in NFL history.

CLOWN TIME IS OVER:
Jadeveon Clowney was in Brady's face all game, flattening him in the first half with a legal hit and bringing him down a couple of times in the second on plays that were a little more questionable.

In the third quarter, Brady was chased out of the pocket before heaving the ball downfield. Clowney dragged him to the turf, and Brady came up kicking. The Patriots quarterback made his case to the referee, but no penalty was called.

Early in the fourth, though Clowney was called for roughing the passer for Brady after he got rid of the ball and while he was in the clutches of defensive end Christian Covington.

PILING UP POINTS:
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski continues to climb the NFL's career postseason scoring list.

He made an extra point in the first quarter to pass Rice and move into third place on the league's career list. It was Gostkowski's 133rd postseason point, breaking a tie with the San Francisco 49ers receiver.

Next up are kickers Gary Anderson, David Akers and all-time leader Adam Vinatieri, who had half of his 234 career postseason points with New England before moving on to the Indianapolis Colts.

INJURIES:
Texans: RB Tyler Ervin left in the second quarter with a concussion. Defensive end Joel Heath exited in the fourth quarter with a knee injury and did not return.

Patriots: WR Chris Hogan left in the third quarter with a thigh injury.

UP NEXT:
Texans: End of season.

Patriots: Will host either Pittsburgh or Kansas City in next week's AFC title game.