Preseason Game 4
Where: Qwest Field, Seattle, WA
When: 7 p.m. PDT
Records Preseason: Seattle 3-0, Oakland 1-2
Television: NFL Network; KTVU
What's at stake: It's the final preseason game and normally in the 4th game of the preseason the starters play very little if at all. However, after last weeks shellacking at the hands of the Saints, Coach Cable has indicated that his starters will at least play a few series if not more. What I like, according to Cable, is the fact that it's the players themselves that want to play to try to vindicate themselves and get the bad taste out of their mouth following the last game. Also at stake will be the employment for 22 players currently on the roster as the final cuts are coming this Saturday the 5th. Cable has indicated that only about 40 roster spots are secure, which means that 13 spots are up for grabs.
What to look for: First, any kind of improvement and rebound form last week. I know that I would like to see some hustle and preparedness from the starters.
Next will be all of the remaining position battles:
- No. 3 Quarterback: Gradkowski and Frye will get the most playing time and the decision on which one to keep will come down to the wire.
- Running Backs: Rankin, G. Russell, Lawton and Reece are all vying for 2 roster spots.
- Wide receiver: Watkins, Holland and Nick Miller will battle it out for the final spot on the 53 man roster. I give the edge to Nick Miller now because of his return skill and the fact that incumbent kick returner Justin Miller has the dreaded turf toe.
- Tight Ends: If the Raiders indeed keep 3 TE's, then Tony Stewart and Darrell Strong will fight for the remaining opening.
- Offensive Line: T-G Mark Wilson, T Seth Wand, T James Marten, C John Wade are all on the bubble. Apparently the decision on the starting center has not been made yet and Satele, Morris and Wade trying to prove themselves in this game.
- Defensive Line: Incredibly, Desmond Bryant has probably played himself right on to the 53 man roster. The same cannot be said for DT William Joseph, DT Terdell Sands, DE-DT Ryan Boschetti, DE Greyson Gunheim. Those 4 will battle it out for probably 3 spots. Expect to say bye-bye to Sands and for the Raiders to be combing the waiver wire Saturday night.
- Linebackers: Morrison, Howard, Brown, Alston, Slade Norris and Ekejiuba are all in. OLB Nixon, OLB Greenwood, OLB Sam Williams and MLB Chris O’Neill will compete for maybe one spot on the 53 or on the practice squad.
- Defensive Backs: Lots of battles here, at least for the backup positions. Mike Mitchell's hamstring probably secured Huff's roster spot, but for the rest, Baker, Bowie, Hawkins, Darrick Brown and Jerome Boyd will play for maybe three final spots.
Who won't play: C John Wade (knee), OT Khalif Barnes (ankle), LB Kirk Morrison (elbow), S Mike Mitchell (hamstring), CB Nnamdi Asomugha (wrist), S Rashad Baker (concussion), WR Chaz Schilens (foot), RB, Justin Fargas (hamstring), LB Isaiah Ekejuiuba (shoulder)
Questionable: Louis Murphy (foot), CB/KB Justin Miller (toe).
Enjoy the game Nation! Let's get the Saints game far in the rear view mirror and show that we are ready for the Chargers. Go RAIDERS!!!