The Oakland Raiders have had a productive offseason. There's no doubt about it that they have made significant improvements from trading for Kamerion Wimbley and Jason Campbell to drafting guys with instant impact like Rolando McClain and Lamarr Houston.
Just remember that they haven't accomplished anything on the field yet.
Yes there is reason for optimism based on the moves they've done. Unlike this Non-Raiders fan who was being bias, I am a realist. I like the confidence majority of Raider Nation has in this coming season and it's understandable with the last seven years of losing, but I think some expectations are a stretch.
I've noticed many writers here who say they will finish 10-6 and winning the AFC West and I honestly find that to be a stretch. Believe me, I want it to happen, but I don't see how logically it can.
Arguably the biggest Raiders headline this offseason was trading a 2012 4th round pick for Jason Campbell and addition by subtraction in releasing Jamarcus Russell.
Some have expectations that Campbell will be a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady kind of quarterback just because he isn't Jamarcus Russell. I don't see these kinds of fans on B/R, but it feels some are over confident in him.
I expect improvement at this position and nothing at all like Peyton Manning. I believe he will be a major improvement from our lousy passing offense we've had under Jamarcus Russell. I don't expect him to be a pro bowler, but he should get the job done with complacent numbers.
The Raiders improved their nasty ranked defense against the run by trading for Quentin Groves, Kamerion Wimbley, and drafting Rolando McClain to upgrade the LB unit. I do believe this will be a deep position within the team.
The Defensive line improvement was signing John Henderson and drafting Lamarr Houston. This postion has been shaky with Tommy Kelly not living up to his contract, and Jay Richardson having inconsistency. Even Richard Seymour in my opinion didn't do well after the opening chargers game with a small amount of sacks. However at the same time we've seen promise from Matt Shaughnessy and the veteran presence of Seymour and Henderson have given me the faith that this line will improve.
The Offensive line was bolstered by drafting Bruce Campbell and Jered Veldheer. From a realist standpoint, this area is the biggest concern I have. The big question is who will play Left Tackle? Mario Henderson has shown inconsistency from last season and Khalif Barnes has not been healthy since joining the Raiders.
From looking at the logical standpoint, Jered Veldheer looks like he will be our work in progress at LT since Bruce Campbell is moving to guard. I see too many projects at this position and it worries me that Jason Campbell's blindside won't be protected.
If the offensive line can grow quickly, I do believe the Raiders can be a playoff contender. If not, I see a struggling season with some competitiveness, but the production on offense would make the defense wear down faster and the record would be ugly.
The Other area of concern I have is the Secondary. Our safeties will be fine with the emergence of Tyvon Branch and Michael Huff having solid years. Michael Mitchell is expected to make a drastic improvemnt in the lineup as well.
And yes, the Raiders have arguably the best CB in the nation in Nnamdi Asomugha, but at the same time, who compliments him?
Stanford Routt is inconsistent as well as Chris Johnson. I don't have the full trust for either of them. Do we move Michael Huff to CB while inserting Michael Mitchell to Safety alongside Branch?
Nnamdi Asomugha will do his job on one side of the field, but that always puts the pressure on the second CB on this team. I'm sick of the opposite side of Asomugha getting burned consistently at times.
I don't have faith for both the Offensive Lines and opposite sided CB to improve instantly because of their inconsistency. There was some tape of Jamarcus Russell being sacked and it clearly wasn't his fault that the O-line failed to block for him. The Raiders drafted some great projects in Veldheer and Campbell, but they're still another year away from developing their NFL skills.
I have no idea if Stanford Routt or Chris Johnson will be playing CB, but from my perspective, it looks bleak. I don't have expectations for 5th round pick Walter McFadden or 7th round pick Jeremy Ware to make the starting lineup.
So tell me raider nation, how can I be optimistic with both of these problems? As a fan, of course I can always believe, but as a realist and what I see on paper, I don't get the logic in how this team can go 10-6 or make the playoffs with what we currently have at those two areas of concern.
Let me know if or where I'm wrong!
RCF is the Raiders Vlogger on youtube known as "rollercoasterfweak." You can check out his vlog when the season begins here