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Oakland Raiders QB Carson Palmer
Welcome to the team: OG Mike Brisiel, OG Tony Bergstrom, RB Mike Goodson, CB Ronald Bartell, WR Juron Criner, QB Matt Leinart, LB Philip Wheeler, DB Shawntae Spencer.
Good luck to ya: QB Jason Campbell, TE Kevin Boss, C Samson Satele, DE Kamerion Wimbley, CB Stanford Routt, RB Michael Bush, RB Rock Cartwright, WR Chaz Schilens.
Coach Dennis Allen (Oakland’s first defensive-minded coach since John Madden), brings his "bend but don't break" defensive scheme to Oakland. With few draft picks and an even smaller budget, Allen has his work cut out for him. After leaving Oakland for stints in Seattle and Houston, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp returns to run his West Coast, zone-blocking offense.
On offense: Quarterback Carson Palmer returns with a full offseason under his belt. Darren McFadden is healthy again, but can he stay that way an entire season? History says no. When he was healthy last season, the Raiders led the league in rushing.
RB Michael Bush is gone, so FB Marcel Reece will play a larger role with his unique pass-catching skills.The offensive line, anchored by C Stefen Wisniewski, is beginning to look solid. Knapp’s zone-blocking scheme should be a benefit.
On defense: Ranked 27th in both rushing and passing defense, the Raiders have plenty of room for improvement.
Losing Kamerion Wimbley doesn’t help, and Stanford Rhoutt was a yellow flag magnet. With Wimbley gone, Oakland will be leaning heavily on DT Richard Seymour and DE Matt Shaughnessy. The addition of CB Shawntae Spencer should help ease the loss of Routt, a starter at cornerback..
Look for Allen and new defensive coordinator Jason Tarver to break the Raider mold and utilize zone and man coverage while bringing on the blitz.