Raiders coach Hue Jackson officially introduced Carson Palmer to the media today, and he wasn't shy about setting the bar high, announcing the acquisition was "the greatest trade in football." Can Palmer live up to Jackson's praise, not to mention the Raiders' investment of two first-round picks? He admitted the expectations were heavy, calling it a "tremendous burden."
"I was telling someone just a little while ago that I went to bed at 10:30 a retired football player and got a text message at 4 a.m. and was told to get on a plane to Oakland," he added. "So, it's been a whirlwind, and I understand what's expected of me. I have played in this league for eight years, I know what it's about.
"I know what playing quarterback is about, and it's about winning. I want to come in and contribute and do whatever I can to help this team."
But exactly when Palmer will have a chance to help the team remains to be seen. In addition to learning the playbook and getting acquainted with his new teammates, he said he needs to work on his conditioning.
"It's going take some time," he said. "I think the only way you can get in football shape is by playing football.
"You can run wind sprints and lift weights and all those things but calling a play in the huddle when you're tired, after you just ran, you get the wind knocked out of you, getting up off the ground, ready to talk in the huddle, catching your breath, that's football shape, and they only way to do that is in practice and in games."
So is there any chance Palmer will start this Sunday? Jackson refused to say one way or the other. "You think I'm going to tell you that right now? You know me a little bit better than that," he said.
"OK, all you guys try, I'm not going to let that out of the bag just yet. But you've got to be ready for anything from me. I think you know that. We'll see as we continue to move through the week exactly where we are."
As a followup to Jackson's claim that this was the "greatest trade in football," he was asked what the second greatest trade was. His answer?
"I'll let you know when we make it."
For the full transcript of introductory Palmer's press conference, check out Tim Kawakami's blog at the Mercury News. To see what Raiders fans think about Palmer's acquisition, check out Silver and Black Pride.