Pressure point: Raiders

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
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NFC pressure points: West | North | South | East
AFC pressure points: West | North | South | East

Examining who faces the most challenging season for the Raiders and why.

Oakland’s brass isn’t facing much pressure. General manager Reggie McKenzie and new head coach Dennis Allen are starting a new regime, and they will be given time to build their program.

However, that doesn’t mean no one in Oakland faces pressure in 2012. The heat is on quarterback Carson Palmer. He is one of the keys to quick success in Oakland. If Palmer fails to deliver in 2012, the Raiders may have to think of the future, whether that means trying to draft a franchise quarterback in 2013 or turning to 2011 supplemental draft pick Terrelle Pryor.

Remember, the previous regime was the one that brought Palmer in last October. McKenzie and Allen believe in Palmer and will give him a chance to succeed, but he’s not their guy. They will not feel emotionally attached to him if he fails.

Oakland gave up its first-round pick this year and a first- or second-round pick next year. (It’s a first-rounder if Oakland goes to the AFC title game.)

He was so-so last year. Palmer threw 16 interceptions and 13 touchdowns in 10 games with Oakland. Now, Palmer, who will turn 33 in December, must adjust to the West Coast offense in Oakland. The Raiders need Palmer to succeed.

Hopes are high for him, but if Palmer fails in 2012, so may the Raiders.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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