“As far as being close to a playoff team, it’s more than that. We’re close to a championship team. There’s a lot of work that needs to be put in and a lot of hurdles that we need to get over, but we need to be heading into this season thinking more than just playoffs.” — Carson Palmer to the Contra Costa Times.

This isn’t going to be me lambasting Carson Palmer for that headline-inducing comment. Why else would Palmer have come out of semi-retirement to quarterback the Raiders if he didn’t believe that they’re “close” to a championship team? And what exactly does “close” mean? He didn’t make any bold predictions — he simply implied that this Oakland team should have a championship mentality.

Fair enough.

I understand that point of view. But I disagree with the notion that this team is on any sort of brink.

The problem is that the Raiders are in at least a miniature state of flux. They have a brand-new general manager and their third head coach in as many years. This’ll be their first full season sans Al Davis since 1962 and they’re already making odd changes that may very well prove to be counterproductive.

For instance, why return to the very same zone-blocking scheme that seemed to shackle Darren McFadden during the Tom Cable era?

This is a team that still hasn’t finished above .500 since 2002, surrounded by a trio of divisional opponents that seem to be getting better, and dealing with one of the biggest salary cap dilemmas in the league. They were forced to release starting cornerback Stanford Routt earlier in the offseason (Routt signed with the division-rival Chiefs) and now face a similar situation with starting linebacker and pass-rushing specialist Kamerion Wimbley.

They might be able to shave off approximately $25 million and get under the $120-million cap without gutting the roster, but there’s a decent chance they lose at least one more veteran. And with that in mind, they won’t be able to join the free-agent party at all.

No biggie, right? Free agency is overrated. Sure, but what really aches the Raiders is the fact that the team currently holds only two — two! – 2012 drafts picks, one in the fifth round and one in the sixth. They’re likely to be awarded an additional compensatory pick or two for losing Nnamdi Asomugha, Zach Miller and Robert Gallery last year, but they still won’t pick until the end of the third round in the best-case scenario.

Without free agency and the draft and with a few holes already needing to be filled, how does an 8-8 team improve?

I just don’t see it happening. But crazier things have taken place in this league, which is part of the reason I can see where Palmer’s coming from.

And with a $43-million salary, I’d expect nothing else from the guy.

Comments (22)

  1. I would disagree with your claim that their moves are “counter productive”. Reggie mckenzie came from the packers where he was head of football operations, while he was there they won a superbowl, went 15-1 and had the league MVP. I will agree its a state of flux and that’s nothing but to be expected, because the raiders are now going to finally become a modernized team, which they can’t do unless they first clean up al Davis’s mess. While the raiders did go 8-8 last season, they were 4-1 when their roster was healthy. Any other team that lost their starting QB and running back would have a tough time in the nfl too. That’s like taking away Tom Brady and benjarvis green Ellis on the patriots, Eli Manning and amad bradshaw on the giants. While there is decent back up running backs on both teams benjarvis green Ellis doesn’t fumble, which is so key in the nfl and can decide a win or a loss. Neither team lost both at the same time. It’s hard to say either team would have made it to the super bowl being especially without their starting qb. How can you not see the 8-8 raiders improving? Palmer will do nothing but get better, they have a good crop of young receivers, and in my
    opinion better management than the last decade. It starts from the top down, not the other way around and that is why the raiders will improve. And finally I will disagree with your implication that the raiders division is going to be tougher. The chargers have missed the playoffs 2 years in a row on a steady decline, losing a game to the raiders both years( swept 2 years ago), they split the 2 game series with the chiefs, the loss coming from being without their starting QB, then losing DMC in that game. Palmer threw 3 picks while boller also threw 2 or 3( don’t remember the exact number), the raiders lost 28-0 because each interception turned into points. Take away those interceptions and it’s 0-0. Once again the raiders split the series with the broncos one with their starting QB and running back and one without, and they still could have won it since they were in the lead
    for much of that game. Oh an two years ago the raiders went 6-0 in the division. Division play isn’t the problem, it’s playing teams outside the division where the majority of the losses come from. I’m not forgetting how poorly the defense did, setting records in penalties which will change with the new management, and the raiders have the potential to pick
    up a good defensive player or two in free agency. Finally, what odd changes are you speaking of? Since you stated no specifics please enlighten me.

    • I elaborated with one specific odd change: Why go BACK to a zone blocking scheme when it’s been established that Darren McFadden struggles with it.

  2. Tammy this a wonderful blog submit! It is so nice when folks appreciate all that you do.

  3. Otasco suppliers started off out in Oklahoma, but grew to acquiring retailers in 12 states. I see from the image that across the street within the Otasco can be a Western Auto store. A further chain of shops that was a great deal like Otasco but almost certainly more people today are familiar with.

  4. I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general things, The website style is wonderful, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  5. Someone necessarily assist to make seriously articles I’d state. That is the very first time I frequented your web page and so far? I surprised with the analysis you made to make this actual put up extraordinary. Wonderful task!|

  6. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one today..

  7. Souls in theFantastic Morning, I just stopped in to go to your internet site and assumed I would say I enjoyed myself. Waves

  8. naturally like your web site but you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very troublesome to tell the truth however I’ll definitely come again again.

  9. Featuring lots of old school photos-you should check out a great exclusive ipad book about graffiti art.

  10. Hello.This article was really fascinating, particularly because I was looking for thoughts on this subject last Thursday.

  11. We are a bunch of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with useful info to paintings on. You’ve performed an impressive process and our whole group will likely be grateful to you.

  12. Hello, all the time i used to check web site posts here in the early hours in the morning, as i enjoy to learn more and more.

  13. I’m extremely inspired with your writing abilities as neatly as with the structure on your blog. Is that this a paid topic or did you customize it yourself? Either way stay up the excellent high quality writing, it is rare to see a great weblog like this one these days..

  14. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thank you

  15. My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on numerous websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard excellent things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it? Any help would be really appreciated!

  16. I thought i was more than happy to hire this blog.I’d like to saying thanks to you to your time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely liked every little it when i get you bookmarked in look a new generation regarding your website.

  17. The core of your writing while appearing agreeable initially, did not sit well with me personally after some time. Somewhere within the paragraphs you were able to make me a believer but just for a very short while. I nevertheless have a problem with your jumps in assumptions and one would do well to fill in those breaks. When you actually can accomplish that, I would definitely end up being impressed.

  18. I go to see everyday a few sites and websites to read articles, however this weblog provides feature based articles.

  19. I’ve got a bit of ideas for your website you might be interested in hearing. Regardless, excellent website and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

  20. Thank you for some other informative website. Where else could I get that kind of information written in such an ideal method? I have a challenge that I’m just now running on, and I have been on the glance out for such information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *