Raiders key matchup No. 3: Palmer vs. Jackson


Raiders key matchup No. 3: Palmer vs. Jackson

Editor's note: This is the first part in a series that spotlights three Raiders-Bengals matchups to watch Sunday, 10 a.m. (CBS), at Paul Brown Stadium.Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer vs. Bengals assistant coach Hue JacksonTale of the tape
Palmer (3): 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, 10th season, USC
Jackson: Bengals assistant special teamsassistant defensive backs coach, 12th NFL season, PacificWait a minute, shouldn't this matchup be all about Carson Palmer's return to Cincinnati, and his facing the Bengals' head coach in Marvin Lewis. After all, Lewis was a rookie NFL head coach in 2003 when his first-ever draft pick was used on Palmer."We started here as puppies," Lewis, the third-longest tenured NFL coach, said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters this week. "And he's done a lot for me. I am glad for him."So there. But Palmer's connection to Hue Jackson goes even deeper.Jackson, then an assistant coach at USC, sat in the teenage Palmer's Orange County living room on a recruiting visit, pitching the Trojans to Palmer when his heart was pining for Notre Dame. The rest, of course, is history. Palmer went to USC, won a Heisman Trophy, became the No. 1 overall pick of the 2003 NFL draft, was coached by Jackson later in Cincinnati and was the centerpiece of the "greatest trade in football" orchestrated by Jackson last October that landed the, ahem, retired Palmer in Oakland for the stretch run.No playoffs, an epic media conference meltdown by Jackson after the season finale and a new regime in Oakland later, and here we are."Honestly, it's really another football game," Jackson, who left USC for the NFL prior to Palmer's junior season at USC, told this week. "For me, it is. It has to be. You can't get caught up in the emotional part of it because that's not what this is about. This is about winning and losing."And if you believe that, you forget his final presser as Raiders coach, when he essentially told reporters he fibbed throughout the season, because now that the season was over, he could tell them how he really felt.This much is true, though, Jackson was a good offensive coordinator, one that had the Raiders offense purring, so long as running back Darren McFadden was healthy, which, of course, he is not at the moment. Again.But Jackson's knowledge of Palmer as a quarterback should be just as valuable a piece to play for the Bengals as would Palmer's experience playing in Cincinnati for eight years. Especially since Jackson is now a defensive coach, so to speak."Hue and I have talked a number of times since everything went down last year," Palmer said. "I'm looking forward to seeing him."He might have a chance to see even more of him soon because yes, Jackson's name has surfaced in regards to the opening at Cal in the awe of Jeff Tedford's dismissal."Whatever the next step is in my life is going to unfold," Jackson told "I try not to worry about any of that right now. What I'm trying to do is we're worried about the Oakland Raiders, and that's where I am right now. Try to take it just one step at a time. Whatever the future holds, it holds. I can't worry about it at this point."Again, is that how he really feels, or does it even matter come Sunday in Cincinnati?

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.”