Welcome Total Sports Blog’s NFL Training Camp Previews. For the next 3 weeks, we will continue to preview each team, and predict their records. The chances that we predict any of these records to be right drastically decreases when Joe is writing the preview.
This week: The Oakland Raiders
2013 Season: 4-12 (Missed playoffs for the 11th straight season)
Passing Leader: Terelle Pryor 1798 yards 7 TDS 11INTS
Rushing Leader: Rashad Jennings 733 YDS, 6TDS
Receiving Leader: Rod Streater 888 YDS, 4TDS
Leading Tackler: Nick Roach 112 TKS
Sacks Leader: Lamarr Houston 6 Sacks
Int Leader: Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins 2 INTS
FA losses: RB Rashad Jennings, WR/KR Jacoby Ford, OT Jared Veldheer, G Mike Brisiel, DE Lamarr Houston, DT Vance Walker, CB Mike Adams, CB Tracy Porter, CB Philip Adams.
FA signings: QB Matt Schaub, RB Maurice Jones-Drew, WR James Jones, OT Donald Penn, OT Austin Howard, G Keith Boothe, DE Justin Tuck, DE/OLB LaMarr Woodley, DE/DT C.J. Wilson, CB Carlos Rogers, CB Tarell Brown.
1st Round: Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
2nd Round: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno St.
3rd Round: Gabe Jackson, OL, Mississippi St.
4th Round: Justin Ellis, DT, Louisiana Tech and Keith McGill, CB, Utah
7th Round: Travis Carrie, CB, Ohio, Shelby Harris, DE, Illinois St. and Jonathan Dowling, SS, Western Kentucky
It is hard to think that the last time this franchise competed in a playoff game, they lost in Superbowl 37 against the Buccaneers. In 2003. Flash forward eleven seasons and this franchise is still struggling. The Raiders have not finished with a winning record since that same 2003 season…and I think they will have to keep waiting.
Matt Schaub had a disastrous 2013 season, in which he lost his starting job in Houston. Now 33 years old, the Raiders hope Schaub can keep them competitive while Derek Carr develops. Their running game has the ability to be lethal with a combination of the injury-prone Darren McFadden and aging Maurice Jones Drew. McFadden took less money to sign a one year deal with the Raiders, so lets see if he can earn himself a multi-year contract this season.
They also brought in Wide Receiver James Jones from the Green Bay Packers. Physically gifted and talented, he should give Schaub opportunities to make some plays; however, lets see how Jones performs without Aaron Rodgers.
Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley, and Kahlil Mack should help the pass rush immensely. Though past their primes, Tuck and Woodley still have some gas left in the tank. Mack has been drawing rave reviews thus far through camp after a very successful college career at Buffalo.
Their secondary struggled last season and unless last year’s first round selection D.J. Hayden improves greatly, it will struggle again this season.
Sebastian Janikowski has a reputation of having one of the strongest legs in football, but he did have his worst season last year as well, kicking only 70%. I would expect a bounce back year for the kicker this season, he is too talented to be that bad again.
The Raiders play in a tough AFC West, with the Cheifs, Broncos and Chargers. They also have tough road match-ups against the Patriots and Seahawks on top of the 49ers coming into Oakland. Their schedule is rough.