When Paul Hackett took over as USC’s head coach in December of 1997, one of the first things he did was retain Hue Jackson, who had been the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at USC under John Robinson. One of the primary reasons was to appease Carson Palmer, who was a highly touted quarterback out of Santa Margarita High, and liked Jackson after he had recruited him.
Jackson was Palmer’s offensive coordinator at USC during his first three years at USC and his quarterbacks coach in 2000 although Palmer did not reach his full potential until Pete Carroll and Norm Chow arrived on campus in 2001.
Under Jackson, Palmer completed 397 of 703 passes for 5,159 yards with 26 touchdowns and 27 interceptions. In Palmer’s Heisman Trophy winning season in 2002 he completed 309 of 489 passes for 3,942 yards with 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Palmer and Jackson were reunited with the Cincinnati Bengals when Jackson was the wide receivers coach from 2004-2006 while Palmer was the starting quarterback and enjoying his best seasons in the league. Palmer made the Pro Bowl in 2005 and 2006; winning the Pro Bowl MVP in 2006.
After losing starting quarterback Jason Campbell to a broken collarbone last week, the Raiders were in the market for a starting quarterback and Palmer, who is under contract through the 2014 season but refused to play for the Bengals, was the best available player on the market. On Tuesday Palmer was traded to the Raiders from the Bengals in exchange for two first-round picks.
Palmer has been working in the off-season with Ken O’Brien, who was USC’s quarterbacks coach during Palmer’s first two years at the school and worked closely with Jackson in Palmer’s development early-on.
Palmer was last seen at the USC-Syracuse game on Sept. 17 at the Coliseum but frequents the Bay Area with his wife and former USC women’s soccer goalkeeper, Shaelyn, who is from San Jose.