Palmer has his Raiders moment, against a familiar foe


Palmer has his Raiders moment, against a familiar foe


OAKLAND -- The place was going nuts.Multitudes of yellow Terrible Towels teased the Black Hole. Players were gassed. The clock was ticking as a mere 103 seconds remained in regulation and the Raiders had the ball on their own 25-yard line in a tie game, one in which they had never held a lead.Madness? Insanity? You could say that.In the center of this silver and black and black and yellow churning storm, a cool, calm and collected Carson Palmer. And such was the state of the Raiders' huddle as they embarked upon what would prove to be a game-winning drive.INSTANT REPLAY: Raiders 34, Steelers 31
The rest of the world may have been going 100 mph around them, but Palmer had the Raiders on cruise control."A lot of times you play with young guys that you need to keep their focus, keep their attention because it is chaotic, especially against a team like that with multiple fronts, multiple pressures," Palmer said. "But in our group it was just very calm, just calm. You're just playing."There's no cheesy pump-up talks or bring-the-huddle-up and talk about whatever."There was just, well, Palmer and the huddle. "He was very poised," said running back Darren McFadden."He did a great job in the huddle. He always takes control in the huddle. Thats one thing I like about him. Hes very poised, and thats something he did great today.If this was not the day Raiders fans fully accepted Palmer as their quarterback, I'm not sure when that day will come.Facing an opponent as fierce as it was familiar -- Palmer had faced the Steelers 12 times previously in the regular season and was a pedestrian 4-8 -- the Raiders signal caller did not blink. Not even after misfiring on his first two pass attempts and being a wide receiver short with Darrius Heyward-Bey being knocked out of the game earlier in the fourth quarter on a non-flagged helmet-to-helmet hit by Ryan Mundy.But on third-and-10, Palmer found his security blanket Brandon Myers across the middle for 15 yards (and Myers would be knocked out with a concussion by Mundy on a helmet shot).Then there was Derek Hagan for nine yards down the right sideline before Marcel Reece had a nine-yard catch and run to get the Raiders to midfield.Palmer then found Hagan again, this time for a 17-yard pickup to the Steelers' 26-yard line and well within placekicker Sebastian Janikowski's field-goal range.Forty-eight seconds remained and the Raiders plowed McFadden into the line for a one-yard gain before Palmer scooted to the left hash mark for a one-yard loss and with three seconds remaining, Janikowski was hailed.Janikowski split the uprights, the Raiders had a 34-31 victory after being down by 10 points in the fourth quarter and Palmer had bragging rights over a familiar foe. Palmer, though, would never gloat."I thought he played outstanding," said rookie coach Dennis Allen. "He ran the no-huddle offense, got us into the right plays, and we were productive on offense. I was extremely proud and pleased with the way Carson played."RATTO: Raiders make forward progress in Allen's first win
The thing with Palmer is his cool-under-pressure persona can sometimes be taken, or mistaken, for a California cool detachment. Rarely, if ever, does he show emotion, let alone get in a teammate's face, or jump around on the field.But in running the Raiders' no-huddle offense, his body language suggests he's having fun. More than a 32-year-old with a purported tired arm is supposed to be having.In fact, he audibled into the play that resulted in McFadden's 64-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. But there was a method to the no-huddle madness with the pure dropback passer that is Palmer."Yeah, it gets us in a rhythm, opens up some of the run game but it also tires out their big guys," said Palmer, who had a quarterback rating of 103.7 by throwing for 209 yards on 24 of 34 passing with three touchdowns and an interception."It slows them down, especially when you've got big Casey Hampton. He doesn't like play after play after play, not getting a chance to huddle up and get in the three-point stance for sometimes, 15-20 seconds. That wears you out. That gets him out of the gamehe's one of their better players."And Palmer showed he's part of the Raiders' fabric to the nonbelievers.

Notes: Del Rio wants Raiders to reflect inward after ugly loss in Washington

Notes: Del Rio wants Raiders to reflect inward after ugly loss in Washington

ALAMEDA – Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio gives his players Monday off. Tuesday is generally an in-season rest day, but the Silver and Black get the day after a game to be away from the facility.

“There’s some raw emotion on the day after the game, so I think that helps you maybe teach a little better,” Del Rio said in his Monday press conference. Things need to be taught. That’s one of the biggest benefits to the structure.”

Del Rio called this a "miserable Monday," where his team will be widely criticized for a disatrous 27-10 loss to Washington. 

They’ll spend one more day reviewing it during what Del Rio dubs “Tell the Truth Tuesday." It won't be terribly fun, especially after getting outplayed and outcoached.

It’s a day for corrections, development and one last look back before pouring focus forward the Denver Broncos.

The Washington loss only counts as one. It can become two if that game’s hangover lasts all week. Del Rio is good keeping his players locked on the next task.

He’ll also have to keep them from pressing like they did in Washington.

“We were really looking for that spark, probably pressing early in the game,” Del Rio said. “Offensively, we got out of rhythm. We threw, in the first four drives, two picks and two three-and-outs. We weren’t in rhythm, obviously. They executed. It really wasn’t anything overwhelming. They played some solid, basic coverage and we didn’t execute and they did. It’s just one of those days. It’s an opportunity to learn. Recognize what went wrong.”

Explaining what went awry will be key this Tuesday. There was a lot. Quarterback Derek Carr tried to put the team on his back, to no avail. Carr had a rare dud, and took full responsibility for the loss after the game.

“That’s good for all of us,” Del Rio said. “To me, that’s what we need to do. It starts with me, obviously there are a lot of things that each guy can look at and say ‘this is what I can do better.’ That’s what I want. I want us to reflect inward and see how we can do things ourselves better and then pull together as a team. Stick together, pull together and go forward. That’s what you do.”

Keeping an eye on Crabtree:
Receiver Michael Crabtree took a big hit to the chest from Montae Nicholson on Sunday night and did not return to the game. That leaves his availability in some question.

“We’ll take a close look at him and make sure there’s nothing significant going on,” Del Rio said. “I know the doctors cleared for him to travel with us coming back which was good. He took a good shot. It was a clean hit, a good shot. Crab’s a tough guy so I’m sure he’ll bounce back.”

More Marshawn?
Raiders lead running back Marshawn Lynch only touched the ball seven times at Washington. He had six carries for 18 yards and an eight-yard catch. That isn’t enough for this Raiders offense to function well, but Sunday was a unique circumstance. The Raiders fell behind early and couldn’t sustain drives.

“When you have as many three-and-outs and you only take 50 snaps of offense, you can talk about all the things that you left on the drawing board that you would have liked to have gotten to,” Del Rio said. “Certainly, there was a lot of offense that we had designed to get to, including touches for him, but 0-for-11 on third down says all you need to know. When you’re talking about, does your running back get a chance to run it as much as you’d like, when you’re 0-for-11 on third down you’re not going to get a lot of opportunities anywhere with your offense.”

Norman targets Crabtree, Cooper in postgame rant after Raiders loss


Norman targets Crabtree, Cooper in postgame rant after Raiders loss

Josh Norman isn’t afraid to speak his mind, especially about opposing receivers who he feels slight him in some way.

Raiders wideouts Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper were his latest targets, subjects of a postgame rant following Washington’s 27-10 victory over the Silver and Black.

Washington’s premier cornerback said the duo talked trash to him during pregame warmups about big numbers they planned to post against Washington’s secondary.

That didn’t happen in an awful day for the Raiders offense. Crabtree had one seven-yard catch on the night and two drops. Cooper was even worse, with a six-yard catch on five targets and a crucial drop.

That gave Norman license to fire at the typically reserved Raiders receiving corps. Norman says he took the pregame exchange personally.

"What was personal, other than them getting their tails whupped?" Norman said, with quotes via "I mean, first and foremost, you don't come up in here and say what you're going to put up on somebody. Two hundred yards? (Crabtree) didn't catch two balls. He only caught one, huh? So please, whatever you do, do not run your mouth if you're a wide receiver and expect to show up on Sundays, because I'm telling you, we are here and we are waiting.

"Don't come out here and tell me what you're going to do. Show me. You're going to have to run through me to get that."

It’s hard to imagine the quiet, often stoic Cooper inciting a rivalry with words. Crabtree has had a previous squabble with Seahawks corner Richard Sherman back when he was with the 49ers, but even he's typically quiet during the course of a game.

"Sherm was right,” Norman said. “(Crabtree) ain't going to say he's sorry, but I don't think he's sorry," Norman said. "He sucked, to be honest with you. You don't come out here and do that extra stuff, man. We don't play that out here."

Norman had several public exchanges with rival receivers, and may find motivation from these beefs.

"Whatever that young cat said, Coop, go and take it back," Norman said. "Crabtree? I have nothing to say to you. Yes, I may be Cover 2, but I'm Cover 1 too. I'm Cover 1, Cover 2, Cover 3 and Cover 4. All of them. All of the ingredients to make a perfect attack. We do all the extra stuff. When you come out on this field, you going to see about us."