Will Palmer start? Jackson won't say


Will Palmer start? Jackson won't say

ALAMEDA -- While Carson Palmer took first-team snaps Wednesday in his first practice since being acquired in a trade with Cincinnati, so too did Kyle Boller and Terrelle Pryor.And coach Hue Jackson said he is not yet ready to name anyone as his starter for the Kansas City game on Sunday, despite earlier reports that had Palmer starting against the Chiefs."You hear it come from me?" an incredulous Jackson said. "It didn't come from anybody over here. I know I never said that."Still, he never said Palmer would not start, either.

"I'll let you know that later on in the week," Jackson said. "I mean, again, it's one day. He's going to go back tonight, and go in afterpractice and I've got to see where his body is. That takes time. I'm not in a rush. I don't have to rush that decision. I'm going to take my time and see where they are and see how fast he picks up the system, see how fast he gets in line with his teammates and we'll kind of go from there."Palmer, acquired for a first-round pick in next April's draft and a conditional second-rounder in 2013, last took a meaningful snap in January.He does, however, have a certain familiarity with Jackson, having played for him at USC and with the Bengals. And while the offensive language may not be the same, the concepts are.So, in Palmer's mind, could he cram enough to start?I'm doing everything I can and preparing as if that's the case," he said, "and we'll see what happens.""There's definitely a learning curve involved for sure, and I noticed that right off the bat. But it was exciting. It was fun to be playing football, it was fun to be in a huddle again, it was fun to be throwing routes in seven-on-seven and teams and all these things. But I definitely have my work cut out for me as far as getting the verbiage down, especially when it comes to playing the quarterback position. Getting the verbiage down and telling guys where to go is something that is gonna take a little bit."Palmer, Boller and Pryor were the last three off the practice field, along with receivers Jacoby Ford, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy."It was good to see Carson out there starting to get the reps," Ford said. "It will take a little time to get used to us and get the timing down. But he looked good for the first day."It's just a matter of the timing. He has to get that down and get used to the offense and has to get used to new receivers. Whenever we can do that, we'll be clicking on all cylindersmyself and DHB, we were after practice working with him on certain routes so we can get the timing down so whatever we do in practice comes naturally in the game."

Instant Analysis: Late TD burns Raiders in preseason loss to Rams


Instant Analysis: Late TD burns Raiders in preseason loss to Rams


OAKLAND – The Raiders sat nine offensive starters in last week’s exhibition opener. That front line assembled for the first time in game Saturday against the Rams and quickly found midseason form.

Quarterback Derek Carr was largely on point in a 21-17 victory to Los Angeles at Oakland Coliseum. Amari Cooper showed great hops. Michael Crabtree juked a cornerback out of his shoes and scored a touchdown. Jared Cook proved a difficult cover in the middle of the field. And Marshawn was predictably Marshawn, running like a battering ram on speed skates.

The defense, by contrast, needs some serious work.

Except for Khalil Mack. That’s dude’s all right. He had a sack, three quarterback pressures, four tackles, with two for a loss, in three series.

The rest of his unit was off kilter against L.A. Communication still needs work on the back end. Questions remain at inside linebacker and cornerback.

Coaches have three weeks to iron things out, and get that unit running right. Here are a few takeaways from Saturday’s exhibition.

Marshawn meets hometown crowd: Oakland native Marshawn Lynch played in his hometown for the first time in silver and black. He didn’t play much, removing his pads after just one series.

His cameo was quick and productive, with two carries for 10 yards. His trademark burst and balance was on display, as it was throughout camp. Lynch won’t need much work this preseason, but should get the lion’s share of carries when games count.

He looks as agile as ever, without the rust expected following a year away from football.

Smith suits up:Raiders cornerback Sean Smith played in sub packages with the starting unit, playing outside in the nickel. He had a relatively solid game despite mounting legal issues. He was charged with felony assault and battery on Thursday, when he turned himself in to Pasadena police and was released after posting an $80,000 bond.

Smith had two tackles and a nice pass defensed covering Sammy Watkins on a deep route.

Jenkins enters the fray: The Raiders are still searching for someone to pair with Cory James on the inside. Marquel Lee has worked with the first unit since training camp began in the base defense. He struggled some early, and gave way to veteran Jelani Jenkins in the second series.
That job remains open. Lee is a favorite, though Jenkins will challenge and prospect of signing someone off the street remains.

Backup quarterbacks still battling

EJ Manuel entered Saturday’s game with a clear lead on the backup quarterback position battle. The veteran received most every second-unit rep in camp, started last week’s game at Arizona and was first off the bench on Saturday.

He wasn’t great against the Rams, completing 3-of-9 passes for 16 yards.

That may have cracked the door for second-year pro Connor Cook. The Michigan State alum has struggled some in practice, but showed well working with the third unit on Saturday. He was with 7-of-10 passing for 70 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown strike to Johnny Holton.

Lynch sits, others kneel, raise fist during national anthem


Lynch sits, others kneel, raise fist during national anthem

OAKLAND -- Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat down during the national anthem prior to Saturday's preseason game versus the Los Angeles Rams, as he did the week before at Arizona. 

Lynch hasn't addressed his reason for sitting during the national anthem, an action several others have used to protest racial issues and the mistreatment of minorities in this country. He has sat intermitently during his career, while standing at attention and remaining in the locker room at others. 

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick popularized the movement last year by kneeling during the Star Spangled Banner. Lynch was retired in 2016, but voiced support for Kaepernick in an interview with Conan O'Briend. 

Lynch wasn't the only Raider making a gesture during the anthem. Rookie safety Shalom Luani kneeled during part of the song. Quarterback Derek Carr placed his hand on Khalil Mack's shoulder during the song. Bruce Irvin had his fist in the air. 

Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett has been vocal about his protest while sitting through the anthem twice in as many preseason games.