Cary Emondson-US PRESSWIRE
When Carson Palmer got his first preseason action last week in Oakland, his third throw was into tight coverage deep to Jacoby Ford. The pass was intercepted by the free safety, and since then, placing blame for that single mistake has been widely discussed because of Palmer’s past issues with interceptions.
What appeared to be double coverage was in fact single coverage with a safety playing deep middle. Palmer made the correct read, according to Dennis Allen, and Ford could have done a better job trying to break it up. The pass appeared to sail between the hands of Ford and, coupled with his two other drops, has made him a convenient scapegoat.
Ford could have done a better job, and Palmer could have done a better job. The safety was playing deep middle, but he was cheating to Ford’s side. Palmer’s read of the play was correct, but he needs to manipulate the safety instead of throwing it to the side of the field he is cheating toward.
Palmer took the blame (via Steve Corkran, Bay Area News Group), as the quarterback should as a leader of the team, but he must do a better job of limiting turnovers and making smart decisions. The throw came on a first down and is not nearly as bad of a decision if it had come on third down.
Palmer has the arm and accuracy to be very productive, but he needs to do a better job of making smart decisions on Friday night in Arizona. The Raiders need him to make smarter decisions to be a winning football team.
Matt Leinart took over for Palmer and was very smart with the football and efficient with his passes. Leinart was routinely checking down to make safer completions, and that might work with a good running game, but the Raiders had Lonyae Miller running with the No. 2 offense.
Leinart will have Mike Goodson on Friday, but he needs to show that he can make throws down the field as well to stretch the defense and keep the safety from crashing the box against the run.
Terrelle Pryor’s much-anticipated 2012 debut was a dud. Pryor was inaccurate and unorganized in his debut. The game looking too fast for him, and he was playing against the No. 3 defense, most of which will be on the street in a couple weeks.
Pryor needs to show better command on of the offense and to make more accurate throws of Friday. On Monday, Pryor blamed himself for his poor performance (via Steve Corkran, Bay Area News Group), but there is a fine line between taking responsibility and saying you played like "dog crap."
Pryor clearly has great athleticism, and the Raiders should put him on the move and simplify his reads to build his confidence. So far, the Raiders have been hesitant to develop Pryor as anything but a pocket passer, and it’s not helping him.