This article is not like my previous article much earlier in the offseason. I must say as a fan of the Oakland Raiders I am feeling much more optimistic than I was just two months ago.
BUT, I still do not fail to realize what is truly going on. I stand by my statements before that, yes, the Raiders will probably only win 8-9 games. At the same time, i do admit that I was a little too critical on their chances on winning 10+.
Now that that's over, let's move on to analyzing key aspects of the team.
Lets start with my favorite, the secondary. Some reports of late have been reporting stellar performances out of everyone in the Raiders secondary. Of course Asomugha is well above-par. But our issues lie in the tangling of the No. 2 CB spot. Now I'll be honest, I loved Chris Johnson at the start of last year. But every game following, he just let me down, and I don't even need to get going on Stanford Routt.
Anyway, unless a rookie steps up or Johnson improves his game, I'm afraid the improvement of our run-defense is going to show our secondaries true colors, which won't be pretty. For the sake of keeping this article compressed I'd like to touch quick on Micheal Huff, he can't do it. We need a new FS because Hiram Eugene can't do it either.
The rest of our defense seems set besides a few minor tweaks on the line so i'll get going onto the offensive line.
Tom Cable says the rookie linemen probably wont be starting. But, I'm not so sure I trust his word just yet.
Jared Veldheer has definitely proven himself at lower-levels, never giving up a sack. I'm still waiting to see if he can have half-as-much success in the big game.
Bruce Campbell, hailing from my own city in Connecticut is a workout warrior, he has some potential if he can grasp the Guard position.
The left side of the line is locked down with Gallery and Henderson, but I wouldn't be surprised if we see some big changes on the right side. As for center, Satele has that position to call his own as well.
On to the wide-receiver corps. I think over the past couple years Johnnie Lee Higgins has faded in the minds of Oaklands' coaches. They even got rid of his job in special teams. I just wanted to say I think it's a shame because he had some real potential.
Now Darrius Heyward-Bey has made bigger strides, maybe more than any player in our organization or now that I think about it, in our whole division. I'm not saying the guy is going to hit 1,000 yards this season. But hey, he can catch a ball now and plays faster with more confidence. I don't know about you guys, but aside from Asomugha and Janikowski, Heyward-Bey might have become my favorite player on the Oakland Raiders. I don't know why. But I love this guy. On to my fourth favorite player.
This guy is part of the reason why Heyward-Bey is No. 3 on my favorites list. Since Jason Campbell has joined the Raiders. Not just their work ethic, but their image has improved considerably. He's as unproven as the next guy, but it's really great to see a quarterback who actually takes charge. His predecessor is the reason hes not my third favorite. Because of JaMarcus Russel I REFUSE to ever put all of my Raider faith into a quarterback. Anyway.
The running back position seems to giving its last chance to Mr. McFadden. Personally I want him to have a mediocre season so we can trade his injury-prone self. Micheal Bush has my vote hands down. He just has that running-back mentality.
Gotta go RAIDER NATION, much love!