It's finally here...maybe.
The long-anticipated arrival of one of the best wide receivers the Oakland Raiders have seen since the Jerry Rice-Tim Brown combination.
Or is he? Many folks will question the faith put into Chaz Schilens by Raider Nation. However, while Al Davis, the coaching staff, the players, and the fans don't agree on much, there is a general consensus this man is a gifted athlete and will be something special, barring more injury issues.
Some will say, "Well if he only had someone to throw him the ball," while I and other JaMarcus Russell supporters (the few who remain) will say, "Finally, he has somebody to throw the ball to."
Given the fact Schilens has had nearly 14 weeks to recover from an injury that should've taken six to nine weeks to heal, I don't think this will be a reoccuring theme.
The return of Schilens, while long awaited, will in no way overshadow the importance of the return of starting left guard Robert Gallery to the team.
Left tackle Mario Henderson sure is excited. "It’s going to be a good feeling to get some of the older guys back on the line, Robert and Cornell, and especially getting Gallery back. Kind of help us get that camaraderie back," he said. "It’s a good feeling when we have two players of that caliber to be able to come back. It’s really good because they help me out a lot, especially Robert."
Head coach Tom Cable will not let his public turmoil overshadow his pleasure to have his team back healthy. "This is the healthiest this football team has been. There’s no question. Particularly on offense," he said. "It was good to have them all back, in terms of being in, and into sync, and the energy in the huddle, all those things.”
Energy in the huddle, I'll have to wait and see that for myself. It's hard for me to have faith in anything Raiders anymore, and I'm not trying to get my hopes up for the second half of the year being any better then the first half. After all, I was a witness to much of the first half.
In addition to the return of Gallery and Schilens come the return of starting halfbackDarren McFadden, and starting right tackle Cornell Green. As well as the return of previously cut defensive tackle William Joseph, who will take the place of recently cut guard Paul McQuistan.
There is an air of excitment in Alameda today, as the expected starting offense practiced all together for the first time since the week of the first preseason game. While McFadden and Green were limited in practice today, they are expected to be full-go on Wednesday.
Green has been the subject of some fan criticism, but I'd have to say that the holding/false start penalties produced by right tackles in the Oakland offense have not disappated any in his absence. It's only been another number of the team getting tagged with the fouls.
McFadden may have to win his time back, being that Justin Fargas has been absolutely electric in his absence. He may not have a problem taking time away from Michael Bush, but he will have to show some giddy-up to take time away from Fargas.
Regardless of the win-loss record, one thing I think we can all agree on is if this scenario being presented actually comes to fruition, it will be a good thing for a team that has been pretty bad this year.
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