The Oakland Raiders have completed two weeks of camp. More importantly, the team has played its first preseason game, providing the first glimpse of what this version of the Raiders actually looks like.
There were several players in camp, such as T.J. Carrie, Khalil Mack and Derek Carr, that had the coaching staff excited. But this was in practice, and no matter how intense a practice may be, there's no way to truly simulate live-game action.
The Raiders also made several key additions, and this would be the first real opportunity to prove that the infusion of experience and talent that looked so good on paper could also produce results on the field.
This week provided the first opportunity for the players to show that they could follow through on the promising performances they exhibited in camp.
The Raiders still have a lot of time before the start of the regular season, which means that there are still plenty of opportunities to improve on the generally disappointing performance they had against the Minnesota Vikings.
However, there was still plenty to be learned about certain players.
Some improved their stock by showing that they can perform at the same level against live competition as they have in practice, an encouraging sign for the coaches.
But others saw their stock drop as they struggled and showed that they have plenty of work to do if they want to see the field once the regular season begins.
The coaches have some important decisions to make regarding the roster and playing time. Fortunately, there's now more information to help them make the best decisions for the team.