Oakland Raiders: What We've Learned Through Four Days of Training Camp
Here's what we know:
Jason Campbell Is the Starting QB
The staff was probably looking for an excuse to name him the starter as quickly as possible. Gradkowski's injury took care of that problem.
No 3-4 Base Defense Will Be Implemented
Tom Cable was pretty clear when he said that he doesn't want to complicate the players and incorporate a lot of 3-4 formations. He plans on moving guys around out of the 4-3, but will not scheme around a 3-4.
There Is No Clear No. 1 Running Back
McFadden coughs up the ball and averaged barely three yards per carry. Bush doesn't fumble a lot, has better YPC, and busts more big runs. Not sure why it's a battle. Oh yeah, McFadden's making the money.
Richard Seymour Might Be a DT This Season
He's been lining up in the middle during most defensive drills. That may mean little or nothing, but it's interesting.
Defensive Line Is Bigger
With Houston, Richardson/Shaughnessy, Seymour, and Kelly, the Raider front four is just a hair under 1200 pounds. Add Henderson, put Seymour at defensive end, and the Vikings d-line looks like the JV, at least on paper.
Linebackers Are A Lot Bigger
Thomas Howard and Captain Kirk were favorites of mine, but they are small. Both weigh only 240. The three new linebackers—Groves, McClain, and Wimbley all weigh at least 255. Howard will be great on passing downs.
Attitude Has Changed Since JaMarcus Left
It's a lot easier to give effort when your quarterback doesn't erase all your hard work. It's easy to say, but don't take my word for it, take Richard Seymour's:
"Trust me, I've been around some championship-caliber football, and I like what I see."
Chaz Schilens Is Not As Far Along As the Team Had Hoped
He barely practiced on Thursday and hasn't touched the field since. That doesn't seem like "soreness" to me and could be an ongoing issue. The priority will be to make sure additional damage isn't done to make him miss another season.
The Raiders desperately need Chaz this season. He is very underrated.
The Raiders Do Not Have Any Distractions in Camp
No holdouts. No major injuries. No JaMarcus Russell. No Tom Cable KOs. No obnoxious rookies.
Speaking of which, we know Dez Bryant wouldn't carry Roy Williams's pads, so the obvious question is: Who carried JaMarcus Russell's pillow to film sessions?
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