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Raiders' Palmer not nostalgic about return to Cincy

Carson Palmer spent seven seasons in Cincinnati before last year's trade to Oakland.

Associated Press photo
Published: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 6:05 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 6:05 p.m.

ALAMEDA — Whatever emotions Carson Palmer might have about returning to Cincinnati appear destined to remain private.

He started preparations in earnest Wednesday to face the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium against the team that made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2003 as a Heisman Trophy winner out of USC.

Palmer came to the Raiders last Oct. 18, in exchange for a first-round draft pick in 2012 and a second-round pick in 2013, his trade demands finally met after saying through his agent he would rather retire than return to the Bengals.

“I’m not going to dive back into that,” Palmer said earlier this week. “To me, this is three seasons later, two seasons later. That was in the past. I’m here now ... no regrets.”

Things have worked out well for the Bengals, who made the playoffs behind rookie quarterback Andy Dalton last season and at 5-5 remain in the postseason hunt this season.

Not that Palmer expects a warm welcome.

“I have a pretty good feeling how that’s going to go,” Palmer said with a wry smile. “We’ll wait and see Sunday at 1.”

Palmer deflected most inquiries into his Cincinnati days back to his current status with the Raiders.

“It’s a big game, but obviously it’s a much bigger game for our team,” Palmer said. “We have to get a win. We have a lot of room for improvement, a lot of areas we need to improve on.”

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis wasn’t much interested in discussing Palmer with local reporters, noting the huge roster turnover on his team (28 of 53 players didn’t play with him) and the desire to move on.

He was complimentary when discussing his former quarterback in a conference call with Bay Area media.

“He’s having fun. Carson loves to play football,” Lewis said. “He’s got a group of young (receivers) out there that he’s really helping develop. He’s really good at that.”

The Bengals got cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick with the Palmer pick in the draft and get the Raiders’ second-round pick next season. Considering the way Dalton has worked out, as well as the records of the teams involved in the trade, the national perception is the Bengals got the better of the deal.

“I don’t think so,” Lewis said. “I think it worked out for both. I am happy for him. His dedication to me was tremendous. I am really thankful for his time here. We started here as puppies and he’s done a lot for me. I’m glad for him, (his wife) Shae and his family that he has gotten this opportunity.”

Defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who was traded from New England to the Raiders in 2009 and faced his the Patriots in 2010, believes Palmer will enjoy the experience.

“As a player, it’s a fun game,” Seymour said. “I enjoy those moments. I’d just tell him to have fun with it, embrace it, understand the game plan and do what you have to do to win.”

RAIDERS NOTES

Strong safety Tyvon Branch was on the field and participating Wednesday as the Raiders finished warm-ups and drills and began team sessions, a strong indication he’ll be ready to play against Cincinnati.

Those who were not on the field were running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson (high ankle sprains) and Seymour (hamstring).

During last week’s sessions on Thursday and Friday, McFadden worked out on the field with the training staff after the media departed.

The Raiders did not make any moves to replace Aaron Curry on the 53-man roster and may not until game day, indicating the possibility of a promotion from the practice squad.

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