Raiders key matchup No. 3: Palmer vs. Barber


Raiders key matchup No. 3: Palmer vs. Barber

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first part in a series that spotlights three Raiders-Buccaneers matchups to watch Sunday, 1:05 p.m. (Fox), at Coliseum.Raiders QB Carson Palmer vs. Buccaneers FS Ronde BarberTale of the tape
Palmer (3): 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, 10th season, USC
Barber (20): 5-foot-10, 184 pounds, 16th season, VirginiaALAMEDA -- At 32 years old, Carson Palmer is seen as an elder statesman, of sorts, in the NFL.Then again, Palmer was a high school senior when Ronde Barber was playing his rookie NFL season, in 1997.RELATED: Ageless Barber keeps on keeping on
Welcome to Sunday's Battle for the Ages, er, Aged. The two have a combined 26 seasons of pro football experience and seven Pro Bowl selections. That both are figurative old dogs learning new tricks -- Palmer is in a West Coast offense for the first time in his career while Barber has made the switch from cornerback to free safety -- makes this matchup all the more intriguing, but not necessarily more fun.
"Enjoy is definitely not the right word," Palmer said of facing Barber. "Ive played against him a handful of times over the years, and nickel, dime, safety, wherever he is, I looked at his age today and hes 37 years old. But he absolutely flashes on film."He makes plays, hes great in coverage. He makes a couple of unbelievable interceptions off tipped balls. Hell come up and tackle Adrian Peterson and stuff him. Hes everywhere. He makes plays. Hes playing as good a football as Ive seen him play."You could say the same of Palmer, who is on pace to to pass for a career-high 4,436 yards with a career-low-for-16-games 11 interceptions. And his current passer rating of 85.7 would be his best since 2007.Seems both Palmer and Barber, who already has three interceptions, are enjoying renaissance-type seasons."Im sure he was at the point in his career where he knew the defense inside and out," Palmer said of Barber. "Probably didnt look at the playbook very much. Now, with a new defensive coordinator, new calls, new position, Im sure it is energizing for him. I know Ive gone through a similar thing, but you cant tell. It doesnt look like its his first year playing safety."Palmer, meanwhile, has started 16 games for the Raiders now since being acquired from the Cincinnati Bengals last October. His numbers in those 16 starts: 4,578 yards on 353-of-576 passing (61.3 percent) with 22 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.The 4,578 passing yards are obviously more than Palmer's had in any single season, eclipsing the 4,131 yards he passed for in 2007."The few times I faced him when he was in Cincinnati you would always prepare for him like hes the true pro," Barber said of Palmer. "He understands where to deliver the football. If you give him certain looks hes going to make the right reads. You've got to expect that out of him. Hes not one to make many mistakes. Obviously, were going to do our best to try to force him into them."In two career games against Barber and the Buccaneers, Palmer is 2-0 with 470 yards passing with three TDs and three INTs."Hes a 10-year guy now so theres not much that he, like me, hasnt seen," Barber said. "Were going to have to be on our details, finish our preparation this week and see if we can pick up anything on him. If we do, well try to exploit them."

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.”