Raiders key matchup No. 1: Palmer vs. Steelers defense


Raiders key matchup No. 1: Palmer vs. Steelers defense

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the final part in a series that spotlighted three Raiders-Steelers matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m. (CBS) at Coliseum.

Matchup No. 3: Michael Huff vs. Mike Wallace
Matchup No. 2: Richard Seymour vs. Ben Roethlisberger

Raiders QB Carson Palmer vs. the Steelers' defense
Tale of the tape
Palmer: 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, 10th season, USC
Steelers defense: No. 1 overall in 2011 -- No. 1 against the pass, No. 8 against the runIt would be a huge understatement to say Palmer is intimately familiar with the Steelers defense. All he did as a quarterback in Cincinnati was prepare to face the Steelers twice a year from 2003 through 2010, plus a playoff game.And in 12 career regular season starts against the Steelers, he has a passer rating of 76.7, having completed 57.1 percent of his passes with 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.So yeah, he has an inkling as to what to expect from the Steelers, even if strong safety Troy Polamalu and linebacker James Harrison are sitting this one out due to injury."There's some different pieces to the puzzle, but it's really the same scheme," Palmer said. "But as far as preparing for a fist fight in the trenches, battles on the outside and getting rid of the ball on time and finding ways to run the ball, thats the way you prepare for them every time you play against them. Its the No. 1 defense in the league, it seems like, every year, every couple of years."So, you just know going into the game that its going to be a fist fight for four quarters."With the Raiders struggling so mightily to run the ball through three games as they implement their new zone-blocking scheme and West Coast Offense, they don't figure to get their running game up and, well, running against the Steelers this week either.Which would put even more of the onus on Palmer, whose 670 passing yards lead the AFC.And Steelers coach Mike Tomlin sees Palmer cutting a familiar figure."You know, he looks like Carson," said Tomlin, who is 4-2 against Palmer. "Hes highly accurate, hes very good in play-pass. He can turn his back to the defense and come up throwing, he has better mobility than people give him credit for. Hes a competitor. Got a great deal of respect for Carson Palmer."Still, there were questions about the 32-year-old Palmer's arm strength coming into this season. Fears that Palmer squashed this week."My arm feels great," said Palmer, who has thrown 94 passes in two games and completed 56 of them. "My arm feels great and hopefully, I pray that I continue to stay healthy. But my arm feels great."It will feel even better with a defeat of the Steelers.

Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence


Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence

Trent Richardson is reportedly in some trouble.

Richardson was arrested on Thursday night for domestic violence, according to TMZ Sports.

The former running back was taken into custody on a third degree charge, the report states, with bail being set for $1,000.

The arrest was made in Hoover, Alabama.

The Browns selected Richardson with the third overall pick in the 2012 draft.

He was traded to the Colts in 2013 and played for Indianapolis in 2014.

He signed with the Raiders in 2015 and appeared in three exhibition games, but did not make the team.

The 26-year old was cut by the Ravens last August.

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Derek Carr and Todd Downing are tight. A strong friendship was forged between the Raiders’ franchise quarterback and his position coach these past two seasons, one that should help the Raiders now that Downing will call plays.

The Raiders new offensive coordinator will use his young signal caller as a resource formulating a game plan. Carr has a bright offensive mind – he called his own plays in high school and in college at times – and Downing plans to use it to put his quarterback in positions to succeed.

Carr’s influence in preparation will expand over previous seasons under coordinator Bill Musgrave.

“Where I see him needing a little bit more command is just being able to share his thoughts of game plans,” Downing said Wednesday in a conference call. “Being a student of the game, as he already is, but vocalize what he likes and doesn’t like. I think my relationship with him is something that’s going to give him the opportunity to voice his opinions. I look forward to him really taking charge of expressing his thoughts on the offense.”

Carr has always had freedom to adjust at the line of scrimmage, but that could increase with Downing in charge. Derek Carr’s brother Davis Carr told 95.7 The Game as much a few weeks ago, a topic Downing addressed on Wednesday.

“There’s been a lot made about his command at the line of scrimmage,” Downing said. “There’s certainly going to be opportunities for Derek to do that. That’s not something I feel we’ll even have to get into until we’re much further into this offseason and into training camp.”

Downing had opportunities to interview with other teams this offseason, but head coach Jack Del Rio wanted to pair Downing and Carr together. The young duo have similar personalities and a strong working relationship based on a love of the game.

“My relationship with Derek starts there,” Downing said in Wednesday interview on 95.7-FM. “We both love coming to work each day and respect the heck out of each other. When you have that kind of relationship with any coach, you’re taking a step in the right direction. Derek’s the leader of our franchise. In my opinion, he’s the best young quarterback in football. We’re fortunate to have him. Why wouldn’t I be in a good mood every time I am around him?”

Carr made great progress working with Downing the past two years, and was an MVP candidate in 2016. Downing sees continued room for growth and refinement as next season approaches.

“I think Derek made big strides in 2016, just in terms of his command of the offense, being the field general, being able to get through progressions more efficiently,” Downing said. “His footwork took big strides. I certainly want him to remain focused on all of those attributes. You don’t want to feel like you’ve arrived in a certain area of your game and then have it go backwards when the next season starts. Certainly, I want him focused on all of those.”