OAKLAND, Calif. — Carson Palmer has seen glimpses of what Darren McFadden can bring to the Oakland Raiders offense throughout offseason workouts, training camp and a few series in exhibition games.
He can't wait to see that game-breaking ability for real for the first time when the season opens tonight against the San Diego Chargers.
"It was such a tease in the preseason because he's really only gotten a series here or there." Palmer said. "I'm like a kid in a candy store, though. I cannot wait. Just the little that we've seen of him in the preseason, he brings so much to the field. I'm more excited about that than anything."
Palmer and McFadden never got a chance to play together last season as McFadden injured his right foot early in the game that Palmer eventually made his Raiders debut in last Oct. 23.
The Raiders held out hope that McFadden could return late last season but it never happened, meaning Monday night will be the first time Oakland's two most important offensive players take the field together in a game that counts.
"It's going to be very joyful," McFadden said. "I'll have butterflies, the first time back in a real game situation. I'm looking forward to it. I'm very excited for it. I'm looking to have fun. ... I'm looking forward to getting out there with him. He's a smart guy who makes the right decisions, puts us in the right situations so it's going to be a great thing."
Having a healthy McFadden by his side is only one of the big differences for Palmer heading into this season. Last year at this time, Palmer was home on his couch, threatening to retire rather than play again for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Palmer got a chance to restart his career when Jason Campbell broke his collarbone and the Raiders traded a first and second-round pick to the Bengals for Palmer on Oct. 18.
He was thrown right into the mix five days later, throwing three interceptions in relief against Kansas City despite not knowing the Raiders playbook, taking any first-team snaps or watching film on the Chiefs that week.
Palmer was made the starter the next game and had an up-and-down finish to the season despite never getting a chance to learn the whole playbook.
San Diego Chargers