Richard Ghera is concerned that the Raiders offensive line has not done enough to improve and wonders what they can do to improve both the pass blocking and run blocking in the O-Line?
I think the real test will come tonight as the Raiders gets set to see exactly what starting center Jared Veldheer is capable of. Bringing in Langston Walker in the middle of the year was definitely a smart move as he will likely start at right tackle. Having Robert Gallery back is a huge plus, because you can just tell when he is on the field the O-Line plays with a lot of heart. When he is not on the field they look a lot softer, almost powder puff. But that was last year and it's a whole new season now.
I think the most important move the Raiders made on the offensive line this year wasn't bringing in a free agent or drafting somebody who may or may not see the playing field, but rather it is bringing in an offensive coordinator. When they did that, they improved their skill positions because that has been the main focus of Hue Jackson over the course of his career and in addition that move allowed the team to give Tom Cable a lot more time to invest on what he does best which is contributing to the coaching of the offensive line. That will be huge going forward for this team, having line-coach Jim Michalczik working in collaboration with Tom Cable.
Mick Fiver wants to know what are the chances that Colt Brennan makes the team or gets any playing time during the preseason and if they were to let him go, when would it happen and then what... he heads to the CFL?
I honestly think the chances of Colt Brennan making this team are slim to none and I've thought that since they announced that they signed him. Bottom line is that Brennan missed too much of the offseason to really be a factor. Bruce Gradkowski came back to practice this week and will likely get a majority of the second half playing time in the contest tonight against the San Francisco 49ers as the team tries to decide if there really is a competition for the second string spot between Gradkowski and Kyle Boller.
But, I also see Colt Brennan getting his most extensive NFL playing time during his career in next week's final preseason game at home against Seattle. The starters will most likely be held to a series or two during that game. That will be the deciding factor for Brennan on whether or not they will keep him around as a practice squad player. If you are wondering about him clearing the waiver wire and being eligible for the practice squad for the Raiders, let me just say that I highly doubt many teams are looking for a third string quarterback with very little NFL experience on his resume at this point in the season.
Ben Murry thinks it is interesting how wherever Bruce Allen goes the roster age goes up and wants to know what I think about that.
I think you make a good point; it is obvious that Mr. Allen has a keen eye for the more experience NFL players, but I think you're already seeing the effects of that with Donovan McNabb already dealing with injury issues at this young point of the season.
Allen's decision to trade Jason Campbell may be the best thing that happened to the Raiders this offseason, time will tell. But Campbell is not injured right now, knock on wood, and McNabb may be dealing with injuries throughout the season. In addition, Campbell had his best year as a pro last year despite the fact that the Redskins had a different starting line-up in every single game last year, while the Eagles obviously felt like McNabb had reached his climax and was going downhill from here.
It will be interesting to see how this quarterback situation plays out after the Raiders' fans perhaps thought for a second that McNabb would be wearing Silver and Black this year. Instead they get the guy who was on the backside of the actual McNabb signing, which could end up being what gets this team over the 11-loss hump this year. It will also be interesting to see if Allen wants to get rid of Haynesworth for...say...Warren Sapp?
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