Palmer's thoughts on replacement refs? Not much

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Palmer's thoughts on replacement refs? Not much

ALAMEDA -- The replacement referees in the NFL have made news all right, but for all the wrong reasons.Sports officials are supposed to be heard but not seen. If you don't notice them, the reasoning goes, they're doing a fine job, thank you very much. But what if they're noticed, and then noticed some more and then, well, a Monday Night Football game lasts four hours?Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer was asked Wednesday if he was able to push aside any concerns about the replacement refs, or if he carries concerns into a game."You try to block it out," Palmer said. "But you cant help but notice things out of the corner of your eye that you see downfield or you see in front of you. But at the end of the day theres nothing you can do. Arguing a call, yelling at a ref, trying to get an explanation for something, you just cant. Youve just got to focus on your job."What they call is what they call, what they dont call is what they dont call, and youve got to play the next play."There have been no glaring misses by officials in the Raiders' first two games, though a horse collar that could have been could on a tackle of Coye Francies Sunday in Miami was missed.Palmer was also asked if there was anything players could "exploit" on the newbie refs."No, youve just got to play," he said. "You cant worry about what they might or might not call. Theres so many other things to worry about aside from a referee. Youve got to worry about what your job is, the guy next to you, and what the guy across from you is trying to do. So you cant focus on the refs right now."

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.”