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Palmer's transition to Raiders helped by 'player's coach' Jackson

Carson Palmer is 3-1 as a starter for the Oakland Raiders, but his transition from disgruntled-quarterback-on-a-couch to Oakland's starter has come with its share of struggles.

"It definitely hasn't been easy," Palmer told WQAM-AM in Miami. "It's been a huge challenge, probably the biggest challenge of my career, but it's been exciting. It's fun just to have a fresh start and really try to get up to speed as quickly as possible. ... We're looking to try to get to the playoffs, but we're taking it one game at a time."

Palmer was touted by coach Hue Jackson as something of a savior after the Raiders pulled off a blockbuster trade with the Bengals for the 31-year-old passer after Jason Campbell sustained a broken collarbone in October. Playing for Jackson has been a breath of fresh air for Palmer after years of losing in Cincy.

"He may not be young in years, but he's young the way he acts," Palmer said. "He's a player's coach. Guys understand him; he can relate to players. ... He understands the things we go through and he can be lenient on some things but also very, very stern on some things and hard on some things and I think players really respect that."

The Raiders paid a high price for Palmer -- some say too high. In his short time in Oakland, however, he's done his part to keep this team in a playoff race that could come right down to the final week of the season.

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