Palmer speaks out after first start

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Palmer speaks out after first start

ALAMEDA -- Carson Palmer's in-season training camp continues. As such, so too grows his understanding of his new surroundings, particularly the toys at the new Raiders quarterback's disposal.In anticipation of Thursday's primetime game at San Diego, Palmer spoke to reporters following Tuesday's practice and spoke of their attributesOn the passing game picking up 332 yards in his first career start with Oakland, the 38-24 loss to Denver on Sunday: "Very excited. Obviously the goal is to win, and that was extremely disappointing, but I really think the sky is the limit for this passing game. Having Michael Bush, and when we get Darren (McFadden) back, we'll be great, but we have some young talented receivers that are hungry and want to be good. We got a taste of what we can do, and we need to keep expanding on it, keep getting better at it."MIDSEASON REPORTS: Offense Defense Special teams
On if he's ever had a fullback with the skill set of Marcel Reece: "Not a fullback that can run like him. He is one of a kind. There's not another fullback in the league like him. He can block, he can pass-protect, he can run-protect, he can run iso's and go downhill on linebackers. He is a mismatch for safeties, and he might be a mismatch for some corners because he is so much bigger."On if former Bengals teammate T.J. Houshmandzadeh might see more targets against the Chargers: "I think he has a good chance to play more than he did last week. I think he got his feet wet, getting his pads on and knocked around a little bit. The more he studies and the more he is around this offense, the more he will tell the coaches to put more on him, to give him more responsibilities and opportunities."On Jacoby Ford, and his acrobatic 18-yard touchdown reception vs. the Broncos: "That was a play -- we run that play quite a bit -- and I hadn't thrown it to him necessarily, I've thrown it to other spots on the field. It was just kind of a weakness of the defense in that instance. But I have a ton of confidence in him. I don't have a lot of playing experience with him but I've seen about every play he's made in a Raider uniform. I remember him in college, I know what he's capable of. He may be short but he plays a lot bigger than he is."On if he has to create a calm atmosphere in the locker room with so many young players on offense: "I haven't noticed that yet. I know it is a young team but everybody is pretty even-keeled. Denarius Moore doesn't say a word and he's one of the better players on this teamJacoby Ford is the same on Sunday as he is Tuesday morning waking up, probably. It's not a group that is overly confident or overly expressive. They're just kind of like, let's go to work, let's grind, and let's have fun on Sunday, but let's just be ourselves. Guys don't act too out of character on Sunday."On how welcomed he has felt: "Just being a group, there's some times you've got to motivate young guys and stay on young guys. But it couldn't have been an easier locker room to walk in and be a part of the team."

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”