With my first article, I looked into defense. This time around, I will look into offense.
Oakland's offense was one of the team's positives last year. Even when starting QB Jason Campbell went down, the Raiders traded for Carson Palmer to keep the passing game going, with Darius Heyward-Bey having quite the breakout season (led team in receptions and yards) and Denarius Moore looking like a rising star.
The running game was also off to a great start with Darren McFadden leading the league in rushing until he got injured against Kansas City in Week 6. The Raiders luckily had a serviceable replacement in Michael Bush.
In the offseason, the Raiders brought in Gregg Knapp to take over the offense, with Knapp bringing in the ZBS (zone blocking scheme). The Raiders brought in free-agent Mike Brisiel, backup QB Matt Leinart and draft picks Tony Bergstrom and Juron Criner.
I wanted to watch the first preseason game to get a look at the offense a little more closely and found the three things that stood out to me.
Backup Offensive Tackle
The left tackle spot is locked up by 2010 third-round pick Jared Veldeer, who has become one of the steals of that draft and a top-10 left tackle in the league. The right tackle position, on the other hand, was thought to be a competition between Khalif Barnes and Joseph Barksdale. Barnes has been playing with the first team all training camp and did in the Raiders' first preseason game, taking the spot with Barksdale not showing well in camp and preseason.
So with backup tackles Kevin Haslam and Ed Wang along with Barksdale being very much a weak spot on Monday night, the Raiders should upgrade the position.
Possible Additions: Kareem McKenzie, Stacy Andrews (can play guard) and Chad Clifton.
Backup Right Guard
Behind starters Cooper Carlisle and Mike Brisiel, the Raiders have rookie third-round pick Tony Bergstrom, undrafted free-agents Lucas Nix and Dan Knapp, and one-year player Nick Howell out of USC.
Possible Additions: Jake Scott, Veron Carey and Ryan Diem.
Backup Running Back
Now with this one, I have fought with myself consistently. After seeing the first preseason game, it was obvious that Lonyae Miller and Rashawn Jackson are not going to cut it as backup running backs on this team.
With Darren Mcfadden's injury history, Taiwan Jones not having the body to take a full-time running back's carries and Mike Goodson being an unknown in terms of injuries, workload or his fumbling issues, another body at the running back position would make me and a lot of Raider Nation feel a lot better.
Possible Additions: Ryan Grant, Joseph Addai and Jerious Norwood.
The Raiders offense is pretty locked up right now with starters, but it's the depth that is the biggest issue on both sides of the ball.
Expect Reggie McKenzie to either make some moves with what's left on the market or work the waiver wire. Either way, McKenzie will work his magic to fix as many issues as he can before the season starts.
Thanks for reading and comment below. I'm always up for Raider discussion.
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