The Raiders have been the NFL floormat for the past 7 years. They are a proud franchise with an interfering owner. There are parallels to the Dallas Cowboys which are undeniable, and opposing fan bases live to mention it.
Unlike the Raiders organization, there appears to be a succession plan in place. It is unknown whether Stephen Jones will install himself as General Manager, but he won over a majority of the fanbase by helping to usher out Terrell Owens.
Nonetheless, poor quarterback play has plagued the Raiders which has contributed to their poor record. Exit JaMarcus Russell, enter Jason Campbell. Campbell has the unfortunate luck of having a new offensive coordinator each year of his professional and collegiate career. I doubt any quarterback could succeed under those conditions. Certainly Jerry Jones is a believer in continuity which is why Jason Garrett is the most overpaid coordinator in the NFL.
Playing with the Redskins over his career, Campbell will be familiar with the Cowboys personell. While he may struggle with learning the Raiders’s playbook, expect a crisp clean outing in the pre-season matchup.
What to watch for:
1. Injuries: Don’t expect an extended outing by the starters. The injury to John Phillips made everyone cautious. The starters will play about the same amount of time as they did against the Bengals: roughly 10 plays, one long series or two short series.
2. Tight end depth: With the injury suffered by Phillips, Sicko recovering from a concussion, will the new players off the street perform well enough or are they a liability for our running backs and quarterback.
3. Safety: All depths of safety played well in the pre-season game against the Bengals. Ideally we will continue to see solid play.
4. Bowen: Bowen was impressive and appears a viable replacement for Spears. Our long term answer at De may be on the team and his name isn’t Spears.