Raiders vs. Seahawks: Bruce Irvin and Players Worth Watching in Preseason Finale
Although most of the key starters will be watching the action from the sidelines in order to avoid injury and prepare for the start of the regular season this September, there are still a handful of big names to watch for.
Rookies and veterans alike will be on display in Seattle Thursday night, all looking to polish their games in anticipation of this fall's 17-week journey.
Let's take a closer look at some players worth watching during Raiders vs. Seahawks.
The Seattle Seahawks are desperately hoping that their first-round draft pick from last spring shows up this preseason.
Linebacker-defensive end hybrid Bruce Irvin was taken with the 15th overall pick by the Seahawks last April out of West Virginia. At the time, the pick caught most experts off guard, and so far it looks like there's a legitimate reason why.
Irvin has yet to record a single tackle or sack for Seattle in three exhibition matchups this summer.
Seahawks second-year head coach Pete Carroll had the following to say about Irvin's struggles per The Seattle Times' Danny O'Neil:
This is the fastest guy that you could hope to get to play this position. He's grown in big ways here already, hopefully we'll see this week. I won't be surprised at all if he has some real quality rushes. In the game last week, if you go back, he really was close enough to have four sacks in the game.
At 6'3", 250 pounds, Irvin has all the physical attributes necessary to make a mighty impact in the NFL. The Seahawks are just hoping that he puts his imprint on Thursday night's matchup with the Oakland Raiders.
Oakland Raiders starting quarterback Carson Palmer has had a dismal preseason to say the least, and will be under the microscope on Thursday night in Seattle if he takes any snaps in the game's opening moments.
This is Palmer on the Raiders' preseason finale per The Oakland Tribune's Jerry McDonald:
I hope I get to play, but that's not our job as players, that's what the coaches do, and we'll be ready for whenever we're told to play.
Palmer could certainly benefit from a few more preseason reps this summer. The 32-year-old veteran has thrown four interceptions and zero touchdowns in three exhibition matchups this August.
Not to mention he threw 16 interceptions in just 10 games with Oakland last year. Palmer has turned into a turnover machine in recent years, throwing 20 picks during his final season with the Bengals in 2010.
If Palmer suits up on Thursday night, which is a strong possibility given his struggles to succeed in Oakland's offense, watch to see if the former USC Trojan can avoid completing a pass to the other team for once this preseason.
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has named rookie third-round draft pick Russell Wilson the starting quarterback for Week 1 of the regular season, according to The Seattle Times' Danny O'Neil:
He's earned this job, it was a legitimate competition as we said from the beginning and with the opportunity he's taken advantage of, he deserves to start.
Wilson thrived in the Seahawks offense in the team's most vital preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs on the road. Wilson completed 13 of 19 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed twice for another 58 yards.
Wilson will start under center on Thursday night against Oakland but eventually give way to backup Matt Flynn at some point, according to O'Neil.
A dual threat signal caller, Wilson is sure to wow fans with his speed in the open field and with his precise passes from the pocket.
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