Hue Jackson envisioned his blockbuster trade for Carson Palmer propelling the Oakland Raiders to a playoff berth. That plan may not come to fruition unless Palmer starts protecting the football better. Oakland is 0-2 since the Palmer deal, losing back-to-back games in the division to the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos. Last week the Raiders had a 10-point lead going into the second half against a struggling Broncos offense led by Tim Tebow and still gave up the game in the 4th quarter.
Jackson feels confident that Palmer was the right acquisition for his team. Despite the Raiders struggles they are still in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC West with the Chargers and Chiefs. Oakland will have a quick turn around this week taking on the San Diego Chargers on Thursday Night Football.
Hue Jackson joined KNBR in San Francisco with Murph and Mac to discuss the Oakland Raiders two game losing streak, blowing a 10-point lead in the second half of the game against the Denver Broncos, chemistry being the main reason for why Carson Palmer, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Aaron Curry have struggled so far, the good and bad from Carson Palmer in his first career start as an Oakland Raider and a ProFootballTalk story that says his honeymoon is over in Oakland.
Two losses in a row for your football team. How are you doing this morning?
“I am doing good. There is a burr, but there’s a consistent burr. We need to get back to winning and get back to doing things the right way and focus on what we gotta get done.”
You had a 10-point lead in the second half and then it seemed like it kind of just fell apart. Can you pinpoint exactly what happened that led to the Raiders blowing a second half lead like that?
“No because like you said when you think about it we came out in the second half and obviously they took the opening drive down and scored. Then we matched that score on offense and heading into the 4th quarter we were still up. Then it seemed as if they were making more plays than we did. I don’t think it was intensity. I don’t think our players decided they didn’t want to play or anything like that. I didn’t see that. They made plays when they had to. With this particular play that you are talking about they found something that was working and they stuck to it. They made it work and we weren’t able to get it stopped.”
Is it possible that chemistry is taking some time on this team with the additions of Carson Palmer, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Aaron Curry recently?
“I don’t think so. I don’t think that is it at all. I think those guys fit in here. I don’t think it is chemistry. I think when you are up by 10 points at halftime you wouldn’t say it is chemistry by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t subscribe to that. I think what we have to do is finish the game. I don’t there is any chemistry issues in that way. When we make decisions to put other people on the team it is because they need to be on the team. It’s not like we are just doing something to do it. We felt like these acquisitions can help us get towards our goal and I still believe that with my whole heart. Obviously I think it takes some time as you go through a transition. You go through a process and that’s what happens, but what we have to do is get that process to happen faster, so can win the games we know we should win. I don’t think that had anything to do with the game the other day.”
What did you see from Carson Palmer? The good and the bad in playing his first start as a Raider:
“The good was as you said he made some fantastic throws in some tight windows. That’s what he can do. He knows how to distribute the ball to his teammates and get the ball around to guys in spots where they can make plays. That was the good. The negative is he still has to do a better job of taking care of the ball and I think he knows that. There was a throw I think he wish he could have had back. He just missed Denarius [Moore], but the ball got tipped and the one thing we always tell the guys is if you can’t get it in this league you don’t want to tip it because if you do the ball doesn’t find the ground in this league. For whatever reason the ball gets tipped up in the air the other team ends up with the ball in their hands. We gotta do a better job of taking care of the ball. One thing we can’t do is turn it over. I think we all understand that. We want the production of the touchdown passes and the production of the offense, but what we can’t do is turn this ball over.”
ProFootballTalk had a story on you that said since the passing of Al Davis you have had too much to handle running this team:
“Do you believe all those things that are written? That is said by people. I don’t – here’s the deal – and I understand when everyone thinks football decisions are made here are made by myself, when I don’t. I don’t worry about what everyone else is saying. I can only worry about what I know is going on. It’s like anything else when things are not going as well it’s easy to all of sudden have all these spins . Two weeks ago things were going great and there was none of these things being said. You start to lose a couple of games and that comes with the territory. I understand that. I respect that. We don’t have a problem in our locker room. We don’t have a problem with this team. Hue Jackson is the head coach of this team and trying to get this team as good as he can. Sometimes you hit a few bumps. We’ve hit them right now and unfortunately we have. That’s not what any of us want. We got off to a great start and now in the middle of this thing we are having some bumps and bruises. Well what we are going to do is stay consistent and stay the course. We know exactly what we need to do and how we need to do it. As I said to everybody I’m not going to make excuses when we lose. I think people would like for me to. I am not going to do that. That’s just part of this deal in the National Football League. We gonna stay to the grind. We are going to keep working at it and we are going to get this thing better to where I know it can get to. That’s what the plan is.”