Five questions with Raiders correspondent Michael Wagaman

Posted Nov. 18, 2011 @ 4:45 p.m.
Posted By Christian West

We talked with PFW Raiders correspondent Michael Wagaman to discuss Carson Palmer, the offensive line and more in anticipation of Sunday's Raiders-Vikings game.

PFW: How has Carson Palmer adjusted since the trade to the Raiders?

Wagaman: He struggled in his first two games with the six interceptions but that shouldn't be a surprise: he was coming off of his couch. What's surprising is how quickly he turned it around against San Diego. Michael Bush and the offensive line have been huge for him so far. He still has a long way to go but he's starting to get there.

PFW: Speaking of the offensive line, can you speak to their development this season into a very good group?

Wagaman: The left side has anchored this group. OLT Jared Veldheer and OLG Stefan Wisniewski have both played extremely well. Veldheer has even asked to block Jared Allen one-on-one Sunday. While I expect them to give him some help, he'll get an opportunity to block Allen early to see how he does. It should be a good matchup.

PFW: Who has been the team MVP so far?

Wagaman: That's a tough one. I'll go with Wisniewski. Even though he's a rookie, he's come in with a veteran work ethic, putting in the time in the weight room and the film room. His versatility along the line (he's also played center this season), has also been huge. He's going to be a huge player for them going forward.

PFW: How have the young WRs grown this season?

Wagaman: They are a young and fast group and have really started to show maturation this season. Denarius Moore has really started to showcase himself. Talking to head coach Hue Jackson and QB Carson Palmer, he's one of those guys that doesn't need a perfect pass throw to him. He just needs it in his area and he can make a play on the ball. Darrius Heyward-Bey also started to come on a bit earlier in the season but since the addition of T.J. Houshmandzadeh has seen his snaps decrease a bit. With Jacoby Ford likely out this week, look for DHB to get back involved with the offense.

PFW: Prediction for the game?

Wagaman: I hate predictions, but I'll say 24-20 Raiders. Minnesota's defense just isn't good enough to stop the Raiders.