Let’s be honest about the state of the AFC West quarterbacks for a minute. You have one that intrigues in Tim Tebow, one that’s among the league’s best in Phil Rivers, and two other mediocre veterans that their teams seem intent on rolling out next season in Matt Cassel and Carson Palmer. While Oakland Raiders fans might have believed that a new regime might displace Palmer at the helm, today’s press conference announcing Dennis Allen as the new head coach only cemented the belief of Hue Jackson’s staff.
Palmer can breathe easy in case he was worried about having to compete for playing time with the new Raiders front office and coaching staff. Both Reggie McKenzie, the team’s new general manager, and Allen publicly backed Carson Palmer today as the Raiders’ quarterback. Both men believe there’s enough talent here to win the division and make the playoffs (they would be correct), and they hope to provide the proper environment and coaching it takes to win.
That said, Palmer is likely to have a short leash (about one season long), and if he cannot prove that he’s a winning quarterback this season, then it’s likely he will be relegated to the bench in 2013. For now, however, he’s earned a full 16 game slate to captain the Raiders within the AFC West. With a full off-season and preseason under his belt, Palmer will have his best chance to succeed. Considering the lost draft choices it took to grab him, Allen and McKenzie hope Jackson’s bet was a winning one.