There seem to be two schools of thought on Carson Palmer these days. Those who look at his dwindling numbers over the past few years are on the pessimistic side and those who would suggest his fresh start in Oakland would render those numbers in Cincinnati meaningless.
The pessimists also like to point to his interceptions last season, which outweighed his touchdowns 16-13. The optimists will point out that six of those interceptions came in his first two games with the team who had pulled him off the couch.
The pessimists will also say Palmer can't play in a West Coast offense. The optimists simply ask "How do you know?"
Well, this is the first full offseason for Palmer since joining the Raiders and the work he is putting in will give the optimists more proof that this is indeed a new day for the eight year veteran quarterback. One of those optimists is head coach Dennis Allen
"Well, he's determined to have a great year." Said Allen of Palmer in an interview Monday for Sirius XM radio. "The way that he's come in, the way that he's worked, the way that he's taking control of the situation, the way that he's been a leader on this football team, that's been extremely impressive. Here's a guy that's been in the league for a long time, he's obviously seen several different types of systems and the way that you call plays going all the way back to his days at USC. He's come in with the hunger of a rookie to just come in and learn and gather as much information as he can. I couldn't have asked for a better situation in a quarterback than getting a veteran like Carson and the way that he's handled himself this offseason."
The excitement Allen displays with regard to his quarterback is evident. He and the Raiders have a quarterback with a rare combination of experience, leadership, and renewed vigor. Not to mention the physical skills Palmer possesses. After all, the last quarterback Allen watched start for a team he coached was Tim Tebow. Talk about night and day.
After years of Palmer feeling like he was chasing his tail as a Bengal, he comes back to his home state of California as part of a Raider team which is in the exact same situation as he is. Like Palmer, the Raiders have history and have done great things but are embarking on an entirely new beginning. Palmer is eager and excited and the Raiders are right there with him.
There is no wonder why Palmer is working the way he is. The month long training with his receivers in Los Angeles and the long days spent working on his footwork and the new system and playbook. There aren't many quarterbacks in this league who have his combination of qualities.
Dennis Allen is extremely excited, as well he should be. I think Raider fans should be pretty excited too.