Of course, Jackson is starting Palmer

October, 19, 2011
10/19/11
1:50
PM ET

My reaction to Adam Schefter’s report that Carson Palmer will start for the Oakland Raiders on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs?

I wouldn’t expect anything else from Hue Jackson.

The Raiders’ rookie coach has developed a reputation for being as aggressive as they can. Coming on the heels of the blockbuster trade for Palmer on Tuesday, I knew Jackson wouldn't have Palmer sit and watch the Chiefs’ game. With the Raiders’ bye week coming up, it would be logical for Palmer, who hasn't been in an NFL program this season, to shake off some rust and start for Oakland after their break.

Logic doesn’t always win football games, great quarterbacks often do. Jackson -- who coached Palmer at USC and with the Bengals -- thinks he is still a great quarterback and he will give him the chance to play right away.

Why would the Raiders sit Palmer if they brought him in to take them to the playoffs? Would backup Kyle Boller really be a better option against the Chiefs? Boller’s confidence has to be damaged this week, knowing the Raiders didn’t have faith in him to replace Campbell. Starting him in a one-game cameo would have been awkward, at the very least.

For the second-straight game, the Raiders are pushing a new player into the starting lineup. Linebacker Aaron Curry started against the Browns after having one practice with the Raiders after he was acquired from Seattle.

Palmer will have three practice days to prepare for his first game as a member of the Raider Nation. While it will be a crash course, it shouldn’t be an impossible task. He knows Jackson’s system and he is a pro.

Watch for the Raiders to rely on the NFL’s best running game on Sunday. It’s basically the offense Oakland used when Jason Campbell was injured. Palmer will start airing it out as he gets comfortable.

The biggest risk for Palmer, who said Tuesday that he needs time to get into playing shape, is the possibility of pulling a muscle. Hamstrings have a tendency of betraying athletes who rush to the field.

In the end, though, Jackson isn’t worried about pulled hammies. He’s worried about catching the Chargers, who lead the Raiders by a half game.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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