Oakland Raiders 2010: 10 Things We Know For Sure
The season is upon us. The final dress rehearsal is in the books. Let's take a look at what we now know about the 2010 Oakland Raiders.
This will be a breakdown of the good, the bad and the ugly. It's not to be taken negatively, as there's not a more positive or optimistic person than me when it come to the Raiders.
Just one man's opinion, feel free to agree or disagree.
Our Young Receivers Will Be Fine
Much has been made this off-season of the Raiders not adding a veteran receiver to the roster.
After watching three pre-season games I think I now know why. We didn't need to.
While Chaz Schillens' health is a concern, it's not as big a deal as I once thought it was.
The biggest key to being a wide receiver in the NFL is the ability to create seperation and our guys have showed that all pre-season.
Louis Murphy, DHB and even JL Higgins have been like 7-11(always open) this pre-season.
The receivers are not a concern.
Michael Bush Must Be The Lead Back
George Atkinson was once interviewed about Lynn Swan and described him as "Soft". Darren McFadden is SOFT!!!
While I think DMC can help in the passing game Michael Bush is clearly the number one running back on the Raiders. He brings it every time he carries the ball.
Let's hope the thumb injury is minor because there's a serious drop-off if Bush isn't toting the rock.
The Quarterback Depth Is Excellent
While Jason Campbell is a clear-cut number one QB, I think the Raiders could be competitive with either Bruce Gradkowski or Kyle Boller under center.
As a matter of fact, I don't feel the quarterback position is an issue at all for the Oakland Raiders. How long has it been since we've said that?
The Special Teams Could Be Special
Everyone knows the kicking game is solid. Actually, solid is an understatement!
The return game, while a work in progress, will get better. The coverage unit will be good as well.
I can totally discount the return touchdown given up against San Fransisco in the last game. Just chalk that up to guys fighting for a roster spot trying to make a play rather than staying in their lanes.
The Raiders special teams will indeed be special in 2010.
Wimbley Is Motivated and Hungry
What's got into Kam Wimbley? He looks like the promising rookie he was with the Browns rather than the guy who's coasting through the last couple seasons got him traded to the Raiders in the first place!
Don't know whether he's playing for a contract extension from a generous owner or if he finally gets it, but let's hope it continues!
Jared Veldheer Will Be A Force For Years To Come
He's raw but strong. He's smart but lacks experience. He's learning multiple positions. He'll start this year at some point and is an anchor for the future.
Jared Veldeheer will make a pro bowl. I don't know if it will be at center or tackle, but it will happen.
I played football at the Division II level. I can't fathom the learning curve from DII to the NFL.
What Veldheer has done in such a short period of time is nothing short of amazing. He will be a force for years to come.
The Run Defense Is Still A Work In Progress
The defense has allowed a long run in two straight weeks. This is unacceptable.
While the team has not started the the optimal line-up yet, the run defense must get better if the Raiders are to contend in 2010.
Having Richard Seymour in the line-up will help and Rolando McClain will only get better, but the run defense is definitely still a concern as we head to the regular season.
Zach Miller Will Be A Top Tier Tight End
Zach Miller has been a bright spot for the last two seasons. With improvement at the quarterback position he appears ready to take it to the next level.
The touchdown pass he caught from Gradkowski against the 'niners was a thing of beauty and a sign of things to come!
A 1000 yard season and 10 touchdowns doesn't seem out of the question.
Mario Henderson Must Get Better
Unless we want to test the depth the Raiders have at the quarterback position, Mario Henderson must get better.
He's been hit and miss so far in the pre-season looking good against Julius Peppers and the Bears, but bad against San Fransisco.
Mario must be super for the Raiders offense to take it to the next level.
Hue Jackson's Fingerprints Are All Over The Scene
It could be argued that Hue Jackson will be the most valuable addition for the 2010 Oakland Raiders.
He's making everyone better and the results are easy to see.
The last two weeks Jason Campbell has been 9-9 on opening drives resulting in two touchdowns.
It's well known that the opening plays are scripted. Hue seems to have really good scripts!
It's been a long time since the Raiders offense has been feared. Taht time is coming again and really soon.
Hue Jackson has put his stamp on this team and that's a really good thing!
If Al Davis lives just three more years he will have another Super Bowl ring in his lifetime.
This team is definitely heading in the right direction and with a few breaks might get there sooner.
It should be a much improved year for Raider Nation with a promise of even better things to come!