Skip to main content

'Learning Intensive' Practices Delay Assessment

The Raider Nation must wait until Monday to begin assessing the team behind the leadership of new starter Jason Campbell. Thanks to Tom Cable’s ‘learning intensive’ practices, the Raiders will not put on pads until Monday.

The offense could put the defense to shame in non-contact drills, and with little risk of getting hit or tackled, the offensive players have an advantage. Equally, a poor offensive performance in non-contact drills doesn’t mean much. The coaches could be testing things out and the players are adjusting timing.

Enjoy the weekend for what it is, a non-contact, buzz generating walk-through. Sad to say, the Raiders have deprived the fans the opportunity to assess their favorite team for the first four days of camp.

Hopefully Cable is right and the learning intensive practices make for fewer mistakes and fewer soft tissue injuries for the rest of camp.

Monday is when the assessment can truly begin and questions can be answered.

1) Can the linebackers cover? – This can be gauged without pads, but a hit and tackle from the linebackers will change the way the backs and receivers run through the middle.

2) Can Mario Henderson be an above average left tackle? – We need Lamarr Houston and Matt Shaughnessy pushing him around with pads.

3) How many scraps will Lamarr Houston get into? – One already and he doesn’t have pads on yet.

4) Who wins the starting running back job? – Can Bush show burst and run aggressively? Will McFadden secure the ball?

5) Is Darrius Heyward-Bey really improved? – All signs point to yes, but we don’t really know until Nnamdi can play him with pads.

6) Can Chaz Schilens stay healthy? – Already a spectator. What happens when the team starts hitting.

7) Do the Raiders have enough depth in the secondary? – Routt becoming a drama queen and rookies are the other primary backups.

8) Is the offensive line strong enough to protect the QB? – Khalif Barnes? Langston Walker? Samson Satele? Mario Henderson? Far from an all-pro offensive line.


*If there is any silver lining to learning intensive practices, it is that I am going camping this weekend. I’ll be checking in as cell service permits on Twitter and the blog should any significant news break.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Oakland Raiders Swing for the Fences in 2016 NFL Draft

[embed align="center"]http://gty.im/153039819[/embed]
These aren't your daddy's Oakland Raiders or even your younger self's Raiders. If anything, these are your newborn's Raiders or your puppy's Raiders. These are the Raiders we've never seen before.

Indicative of the freshness of the franchise was their 2016 NFL Draft. No longer slave to a high draft pick and desperate needs, the theme of the draft for the Raiders was upside.

It's as if general manager Reggie McKenzie got so used to hitting his draft picks out of the park that he started swinging for the fences. We'll have to wait a couple of years before we know if he struck out or if he'll continue his Ruthian ways.

First, McKenzie boldly went with a safety at No. 14 overall. Kyle Joseph is coming off a torn ACL and fills a major need, but safety isn't a premium position. Only a handful of safeties have been drafted in the first 14 picks in the last 15 years and include names like Earl …

Final 53-Man Roster Prediction

The Oakland Raiders will trim their roster to 53 players today. Expect them to make at least two waiver claims Sunday to address needs at defensive back and on the offensive line. As such, there are a couple guys on this final roster who could be waived on Sunday and could subsequently find their way onto the team's practice squad.

As is, I've included a list of players who are candidates for the practice squad. There is some positional imbalance on the 53-man roster as I expect the Raiders to balance it out with a few waiver claims.

[table id=8 /]

The Raiders aren't who we thought they were....they're better

The Oakland Raiders are tired of being the team that will be good in a year or two. The team expects to win now and it is winning now.

We thought the Raiders needed more talent. We thought that being in the playoff hunt was a year away for this team, but we were wrong. This isn't the team we thought they were, they're better.

On Sunday, they moved to 3-3 on Sunday with a 37-29 win over the San Diego Chargers that wasn't close until the final minute. It was also the Raiders second road win of the season. The last time the Raiders had two road wins by their sixth game was 2011. Before that, a five-year streak from 1998-2002.

The Raiders went 8-8 in 1998, 1999 and 2011 and narrowly missed the playoffs each year.  They made the playoffs in 2000, 2001 and 2002. They didn't have a losing record in any of those seasons because teams that can win on the road are usually pretty good.

As the season matures, there is more and more evidence that some of the "best-case scenarios&q…