Raiders young WRs to work with Palmer over bye week

Raiders young WRs to work with Palmer over bye week
October 25, 2011, 1:47 am
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ALAMEDA -- NFL players generally circle the bye week as an opportunity to shut it down for a week. A chance to head home and re-charge the batteries for the coming grind.The Raiders, after being embarrassed 28-0 by the bottom-feeding Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday? Their young and impressionable receiving corps is sticking around Silver and Blackdom to better acclimate themselves with new starting quarterback Carson Palmer."Yeah, I think that's more important than going home," said second-year receiver and kick returner Jacoby Ford. "Everybody wants to go home, but you definitely want to get this thing right with Carson."
It was obvious in the course of Palmer's Oakland debut at the sold-out O.co Coliseum that he had only three practices with his new wideouts. He barely knows their names, let alone their pass-catching tendencies.Which is why, following one-hour practices in shorts on Tuesday and Wednesday, the wideouts are hanging "on the West Side," as Ford put it, rather than catching flights to relative Parts Unknown.It's about developing a familiarity and a certain chemistry."That's what football is, you know, on offense, building a relationship with your quarterback," said Louis Murphy. "That's what training camp's for. That's what off-season workouts are for, to run routes with your quarterback, so in the game they can work out."We just have to go to work, man. We've got to put in the time with him. We've got to, you know, make it work. Put our heads down and just go to work."Derek Hagan agreed."We know we need to be here, and we're going to be here," he said."It's the timing. That's the main thing. We got to get back on the same page. Obviously, Carson wasn't here for training camp. He wasn't here the first six weeks. We're so used to Kyle (Boller) and so used to Jason (Campbell), it's just a different cadence. It's just one of those things where we just got to get back. We know we can get there. We just got to get the confidence in Carson to know that we're going to be in a certain place at the right time for him to get the ball to us. As long as we're doing that, we should be just fine.""We know after (Sunday's) game, K.C. really put it on us. It's obviously one of those games where we just got to learn from those mistakes that we made and, hopefully, not make those same mistakes moving forward. We know we got a big game coming up in two weeks against Denver."Palmer's passer rating of 17.3 against the Chiefs was a career-low for a game in which he attempted at least 20 passes. He completed eight of 21 attempts for 116 yards but was intercepted three times, including a 58-yard return for a touchdown by Brandon Flowers.It was obvious Palmer had little rapport with his receivers. When will he?"There's some real good talented playmakers as you guys have seen," Palmer said following Sunday's game. "There's a handful of guys you can just get the ball into the hands, and it doesn't need to be an 80-yard bomb every time. They can make big things happen; they can make people miss. So two weeks is enough time to be where I need to be, and I'm going to get everything I can out of these guys."Said coach Hue Jackson: "We've got to speed the process up as fast as we can. I think that's pretty obvious, what needs to happen. How comfortable is he going to be? I can't tell you he's going to know them stone-cold by the time we play Denver (after the bye), but he'll have a better grasp of what this guy can do and what that guy can do based on situations because he's going to have more practice time with those young men."The new Collective Bargaining Agreement ensures the players having four consecutive days off during their team's respective bye. So the receivers remaining in the East Bay is totally on them.And according to Jackson, coaches can have no contact with the players in those four days, though they could conceivably work out at the team's facility. Having two practices this week should give Palmer and the receivers a crib sheet on what to work on over the bye."So whatever those things are it would just be a running deal from there," Jackson said. "So he'll take what we do over the next two daysand continue to work through them with the players."Ford, Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey all spent time during the lockout with Jason Campbell at his Virginia home, building up that all-important rapport while Ford and Murphy crashed at Campbell's house.Surely, Palmer taking over must feel like a new beginning after all that trust-building, right?"No, it doesn't feel like starting over," Heyward-Bey said. "I mean, it's football. Ever since you're little, you go out and play backyard football. So whoever's back there, you're just going to have to get some type of chemistry going and then you play football."And the chemistry with Palmer now?"It's building," Heyward-Bey said. "That's my answer."And Jackson likes that his malleable pass catchers are solidifying and taking a stand. As he should."This team was very disappointed about the way they performed (Sunday)," Jackson said. "Especially offensively. I think those guys are wanting to get this thing right, and again, that's the leadership of the team, that's the leadership of Carson talking to these players, and Kyle. And I think the receivers and runners and all the skill guys, I think they want to get this right."And again, when you have that kind of influence as a player, the peers are pushing each other, 'C'mon, guys, let's go, we got a job to do.' I think that's what you look for."