Oakland Raiders' Season Preview Plus an Interview with a True Raider

Joe WillettSenior Writer IJuly 9, 2008

I would like to offer a special thanks to Stanford Routt, cornerback for the Oakland Raiders, who took some time out to answer a few questions for me about the Oakland Raiders.

I usually am going by division, but I was so excited by getting the first answers from a professional football player about their team, I had to get to the Raiders right away and go a little out of the way to get the Raiders out early.

I am awaiting answers from Dwayne Bowe, as well as multiple other NFL players whom I have sent requests to.

Anyway, the Raiders are a sore subject for writers. If you say they are going to win, you get yelled at.  If you say they are going to lose, you get yelled at.

So what am I going to get yelled at for in this article? Well...


Key Addition/Subtraction

DeAngelo Hall: From the Falcons

Jerry Porter: To the Jaguars


Key Games

Sept. 28, vs. Chargers: The Raiders are trying to take supremacy in the AFC West, but the Chargers seem to have it on lock. A win will sway a lot of opinions.

Nov. 23, vs. Broncos: The Broncos are a team that could stand in the way of the Raiders moving into second place in their division. Beating them will get them past that roadblock.

Dec. 14, vs. Patriots: This strong secondary is put to the ultimate test against Tom Brady. If they deliver, this team will be dangerous come January.

Dec. 28, vs. Buccaneers: The Bucs are a team that surprised a lot of people last season, and the Raiders could need this game for a Wild Card berth. It is going to be tough against a good team, and this should be an exciting game.


Season Outlook

The Raiders are a lot better than they were last season, and they have an extremely strong secondary. However, Routt isn't going to crown his secondary just yet.

"On paper we definitely should be up there, but this game isn't played on paper," said Routt.

The main focus on the offense is going to be how JaMarcus Russell and Darren McFadden gel together, seeing as their chemistry is going to be pivotal for this team to succeed.

"Looks good thus far," said Routt. "Don't forget about Justin Fargas and Michael Bush though."

Another thing that the Raiders have done was to get some key players through the draft, free agency, and trades.

"Everybody was big," said Routt.

But Routt isn't just doling out the praises to the other players on the Raiders. When asked which player is going to come out of nowhere and surprise us all, he replied with, "Give you a hint, he plays in the secondary."


My Prediction

The Raiders are definitely going to improve big time on their 4-12 record last season, no matter what anybody says.

I tried to squeeze a prediction out of Stanford Routt, but he just wouldn't let me do it, "Anything's possible, so I really can't say. You'll have to watch like the rest of us."

Since I have to do this on my own, I am going to put the Raiders at 8-8 or 9-7, but don't count out double-digit wins with their easy schedule.

Thanks again to Stanford Routt for being involved in this. He was a huge help.

I'm Joe W.


Joe also writes for TheDailyCub.com, a Chicago Cubs blog, and Hoops4Life.com, a basketball fan's site.