The Oakland Raiders open their training camp this year on July 28 in Napa, California. The Raiders stay at the Napa Valley Marriott and Spa and train at Redwood Middle School which is just behind the Marriott. Last year the Raiders started out with a bang, when the head coach and another coach had it out in a training office. This matter is still in civil court. Hopefully, this year we can concentrate on just the football issues at hand.
The Raiders have some new coaches this year, but hopefully all is in sync before training camp. The early camps seem to have gone well, and there are no police reports filed that we know of. Also the Raiders have signed all of their veterans, so no hold outs this year from them. Camp should open with all hands on board for once.
What will the Raiders need to accomplish at camp? They will need to settle on their quarterback situation. They traded for a new quarterback, so it would seem that he would be the starter. However, Coach Cable has said there will be a competition for quarterback, of which the Raiders have four currently. Someone has got to go. But it won’t be Campbell or Gradowski, unless he can’t recover from his injury. Gradowski could start the season on injured reserve, so maybe number four will stick around for awhile. Either way, the Raiders should at least average two touchdowns per game this year. Last year, they had many games where the Raiders had no touchdowns. It is pretty hard to win if you can’t score at all.
The Raiders need to stop the run. It was a glaring weakness last year. John Henderson, a recent addition should help with this. Also the Raiders have picked up Rolando McClain who should be ready to play. The other Raider defense men should step up more this year. The Raiders should improve on stopping the run, which should lead to lower scores against the Raiders than last year. Their pass defense was adequate last year and could improve with improved play of some of the newer defense men.
The receiver core should be improved. They look promising with Charles Schilens coming back off his injuries. The Raiders have good receivers if they stay healthy and someone can actually throw the ball to them. The Raiders have three healthy running backs, and should have their center returning after his injury.
All in all, the Raiders should have improved their running defense, and be able to score a few points this year. I would expect to see them go at least 8 and 8 this year, possible higher if things fall together at the right time. The Raider Nation should not be embarrassed any more.
Sources: The Oakland Raiders Grading the Off season Before Training Camp by Elias Trejo from Bleacher Report and The Oakland Raiders: Questions That Training Camp Must Answer! by Jimmy Hal from Bleacher Report.