There have been so many conflicting "reports" about who the Raiders will start at quarterback this weekend it is well past ridiculous. There were even reports that Hue Jackson would reveal the starter on Friday though he never said any such thing. In the end, as expected, Jackson scoffed at the thought of letting the cat out of the bag. He knows the unknown is his best weapon versus the Chiefs this Sunday.
On Tuesday morning, when the Raiders swung the blockbuster deal that brought Carson Palmer to Oakland and sent a 2012 first round pick and a 2013 conditional first round pick to Cincinnati, the media frenzy shifted into overdrive.
Suddenly there were more cameras and media at Raider headquarters than there had been all season, every one of them eager to know if the Raiders' new coach would continue his "living on the edge" style and start his new franchise quarterback just five days later against the Chiefs.
Hue claimed at the press conference and in the days following that he had no idea who he would choose as his starting signal caller on Sunday. That may well have been the case early in the week, but now he knows and he still isn't talking.
The last practice was today and he saw all he needed to see from Kyle Boller and Carson Palmer to know with whom he would feel most comfortable. But it doesn't do the Raiders any good to reveal that now. It gives them a great advantage for the Chiefs and everyone else to be completely clueless. It forces the Chiefs to gameplan for two very different quarterbacks.
The jovial Jackson seems to enjoy all the attention that he and the Raiders are getting lately. But now he appears to be getting a bit cagey. He was asked why he would not reveal his starter yet, to which he gave a deep glare at the reporter asking the question and responded, "'Cause I can. You guys all want to know. Is somebody going to pay me or something?
"I'll make the right decision for our football team as we draw closer to the game. I'm not in a rush. I'm going to watch this tape, watch the practice tape, sit down, meet with my staff, talk to upper management, Amy Trask and Mark Davis, and then make the right decision."
At this point, we are left to try and read into the way he says things. The feeling I get is that it will be Kyle Boller who gets the start. But I don't think it will end there. Hue suggested that it may be a group effort out there on Sunday.
"Obviously somebody's gotta trot out there first and that's what we'll do when the time comes."
When Hue was asked if we could see more than one quarterback on the field on Sunday, he left the door wide open for that possibility.
"Never know," said Jackson with a smile. "You never know. We have all kinds of stuff that we do here, so it depends on how good I'm feeling come Sunday. But anybody can walk out there first and take the first snap."
Jackson has also been quick to add Terrelle Pryor to any conversation regarding who may start for the team on Sunday or even who may play at all. This leads me to believe that Pryor could very well see a few snaps as well as the Raiders continue to incorporate trick plays and utilize all of their weapons. However, any suggestion that he puts out there that Pryor has as much of a chance to start as Boller or Palmer is not one that is taken seriously.
Every statement he made in the last couple days has had an element of smokescreen to it. Granted there may also be some legitimate concerns on his part that lead him to hold off on his decision. But it's Friday. Practice is done for the week. There is little else for him to see at this point.
If I were a betting man, my guess would be Kyle Boller trots out as the starter. After that, he will be given a chance to see if he can lead this team down the field and if he makes a mistake, Palmer will replace him. OR Boller will start and receive a predetermined amount of playing time before being replaced by Palmer. I also see Pryor getting in the game once or twice to mix things up.
The Chiefs don't have the luxury to guesswork, whether educated or not. They must prepare to face Palmer, Boller, and even Pryor. So Hue has them just where he wants them.
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This is gretting ridicules - even an old, rusty, former decent player like Palmer should be able to play without looking like a lost HS QB! Campbell will truly be missed unless two more weeks of work can make Palmer act like an un-retired QB! WTF!
we just need to score t.d.'s (that should always be the goal) and keep our new kicker from having to try and be like janokowski and kick it from all over. hopefully hue recognizes it and doesn't try those ridiculous field goals that he can with jano. my prediction, raiders - 31, chiefs - 14.
not to mention the quick strikes he has... what is Palmer's release time over Campbell's pitching windup anyway? um, if i had guesstimate, i'd say probably light years faster? sounds about right.
we will eventually be seeing deep balls like this ... but just not this weekend ... i sure hope not anyway. we can win with Boller. he'll prove that pretty quickly. just remember folks, this is the same cast of players they have at the LOS on both sides of the ball. we simply outmatch them in both aspects... we dominated while allowing a lot of pressure ... Boller will get the time he needs now ... Veldheer will DOMINATE Hali... on the defensive side we still have Seymour(even at 75% healthy) and company. Cassel was sacked 10 times... and still has the same exact OL and scheme with one exception of their 2nd year guy Asamoah... i don't see them protecting Matt all that much... especially with the new exotic blitz schemes, which Cassel has never seen before.
Id bet that Boller starts, but to be honest, this whole QB thing should not detract from the fact that this is a HUGE game.
Win, and we go into the bye on a high, at 5-2 with genuine playoff aspirations, and having squashed the Chefs mini revival.
Lose, and we go into the bye, fretting, full of doubt and still hovering around .500. Not only that but the Chefs will be very much alive again.
Massive game for us.
Ok... if I had to put my money on somebody it would be Carson Palmer... and don't misunderstand me, I really think he won't be that ready for sunday. Boller has a better chance to win the game if nothing else, just because he knows the team better. Having said that, this is the best moment to throw Carson into de fire. It's not going to be an easy game, but KC's defense sucks. Not even Hali has been making plays for them. He needs to go out there and develope some in-game knowledge of the offense. He's gonna have some time to get better beacuse of the bye week, but this will be his mid-season chance to have something a little like a pre-season game. I'm just guessing, but Hue didn't actually sell this team's soul to devil for Palmer and not start him right now... it's just not his style
one thing for sure as a raider fan doesn't it feel good for all the excitement in the air for our team? instead if talking about a coach on the hot seat, or the raiders moving, were debating and talking about who can keep leading this team to victorys! its a good feeling. usually its about "how man games we lost by now", or "we need to trade mcfadden", or "why did we draft bey", but its all positive stuff. even with campbell getting hurt, most teams would be totally devastated to lose their starter this early in the year, but were talking about even being better than before! i love it. aaron curry probably feels good the talk isn't about him. nonetheless, i could probably start and beat the chiefs at HOME this weekend. lets head into the bye with some momentum for the 2nd half and get some guys healthy for the stretch run. GO RAIDERS!!!!
I say screw with the Chiefs more and have Lechler trot out as the starter! He could be the QB, Punter and Kicker for the day.