Originally Posted by Livinginthe past
Believe it or not, im not a Raiders hater but fundamental problems from last year haven't really been addressed.
Namely the O-line.
Factor in a rookie QB who likes to throw deep and I can see alot of turnovers for the Raiders this year.
Maybe Josh McCown starts instead, and I guess at least he used to playing behind a poor O-line but even if he doesn't turn the ball over I don't see him generating any real offense.
The fact that the Raiders play in a very difficult division (Broncos and Chargers look like strong playoff prospects and KC made it to the postseason only last year) and also have the toughest schedule (on paper at least) surely doesn't bode well.
I see a quick fix FA trade for RB Dominic Rhodes who isn't really required - I think if you gave LaMont Jordan a half decent line to run behind he could be an every down back.
The D you have to give credit, if im reading the stats right (and it wouldn't be the first time I read something wrong) it looks like Oakland has the 2nd least penalised D in the NFL - thats quite a departure from the perception of your typical undisciplined Raiders unit.
The rush D ranks only 25th last year, but that it has to be attributed to the offense not being able to stay on the field as they only conceed 4.0 ypc - which puts them just outside the top10.
When you have a struggling franchise I think the D is the first area to be looked, so I think Oakland are getting that right.
On the flip side the appointment of Lane Kiffin as HC seems eccentric (thats kindest word I can think for it) - a guy who has no HC experience and no NFL experience at all is not the guy to turn this ship around - not as far as I see it.
If teams work out how to score on Oakland then this year could be worse than last.
On the subject of Detroit - they are in the NFC which is a great help for poor teams, they also play in a weak division (Chicago are good but apart from that....not much).
I think Mike Martz will generate an exciting offense in Detriot - Kitna is capable of throwing for alot of yardage this year - Calvin Johnson, Roy Williams and Mike Furrey are potentially explosive out wide and Kevin Jones (if fit) and Tatum Bell look solid running the ball.
Head to head this would be an interesting matchup (Oakland v Detriot) but the fact is the raiders have the misfortune of playing in the AFC when it is by far the stronger conference.
I can't deny that what you say is, for the most part, true. What I can say is: the O line looks to be improved already, just by a change in coaching and blocking schemes. I'm sure not going to tell you that everything is fixed, I'm sure it isn't, but the O line will be noticeably better this year.
I really don't see JR starting this year. I'm 99% sure that McCown will be the starter.
The run D is suspect untill proven otherwise, but here again, I think it will be improved with Terdell Sands on the other side of Sapp.
We are in a very tough division, and we do have the toughest schedual in the NFL, but I think we will win at least 2 division games, and possibly 3 this year. I think we can take Denver 1 game and KC twice. Beating SD is a stretch, I know, but we almost beat them the second game last year.
I agree that Kiffin is still a ?, but he seems to have a very good grasp of the situation in Oakland, and he is making some very good moves, so far.
Maybe I'm looking at it from a fan's point of view, but I just don't think its possible to be as bad as it was last year with Shell and Waffles.
I guess all we can do is wait and see how it all unfolds. I'm trying to stay cautiously optimistic.
Like I said, after the last 4 seasons, the Raiders don't deserve to thought of too highly, and I hope they can step up and be the surprise team of the league this year.
I know you aren't a hater... I understand where you're coming from. I hope I can come back at the end of the year and serve you a little crow!
By the way, we open the season against Detroit... we shall see.