MAN IN BLACK 3
The two-time Pro Bowler threw for 2,753 yards, 13 TDs and 16 INTs in 10 games after being traded from Cincinnati to Oakland after Week 6 of last season.
When you joined the Bengals out of USC, you had the luxury of sitting behind Jon Kitna. Would you have been ready to start?
CARSON PALMER: I would have been ready, but I wouldn't have been able to perform at the same level that Jon was performing at. Jon had been there a long time. He knew the system. It was an opportunity for me to learn from one of the [truly great] mentors. Now if you get drafted one through 10, you're playing right away.
How has the game changed to allow rookies to play and succeed?
CP: I don't know if the game has changed, just the thought process. Now [teams] make rookies play and go through all those growing pains early. There's a reason a team is drafting high—you're not very good. You have another year to let a guy learn, let him take his lumps. Let him have a whole off-season to watch film of himself and understand why he made mistakes and be ready [by the] second or third year.
What was your impression of the Raiders while you were in Cincinnati, and how has that changed since you've been in Oakland?
CP: The last decade since Rich Gannon left has been rough on Raider Nation. Out in Cincinnati, you don't have a real good feel of what's going on. Since I've been here, I've been more and more impressed. It's a true organization. There's somebody running it in [new general manager] Reggie McKenzie, and he's got a direction and goals. He's taking the small steps to get there. From what I've heard, since the passing of the great Al Davis, this place has changed drastically.
Do you care about patching up your relationship with the Bengals?