Carson Palmer and the Oakland Raiders have enjoyed a strangely quiet training camp. The usual drama of the Silver & Black has calmed down. There's a new starting quarterback, a new general manager and a new head coach. Yet no one is paying attention.
Well, the quarterback isn't entirely new. But Carson Palmer says he will look nothing like the guy you saw a year ago.
"No comparison," Palmer told Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury-News. "I mean, no comparison."
"I didn't even read every page in the playbook," Palmer said. "I didn't have a chance. I didn't even read 50 percent of it. I was just trying to read the plays I was hoping (coach Hue Jackson) would call."
Palmer made a lot of mistakes in Oakland (16 interceptions), but he also made a lot of great throws. He racked up yardage and showed better arm strength than he did toward the end of his days in Cincinnati. He looked healthy and energized to be with an exciting young, drama-free wide receiver group. That's carried over to this new regime. Coach Dennis Allen says Palmer has been "exceptional" in camp.
We have no clue how many games the Raiders will win this year. Anything from five wins to a division title seems up for grabs.
We do feel more genuine optimism about the organization's future than we have in a while. There is some talent here, including in the front office. Palmer, only 32 years old, still has time for an impressive second career act like some Raiders quarterbacks of old.