With the lockout remaining in force , and no end in sight , the teams around the league have started to hold their own player organized workouts with mixed results .
The Saints on one hand , have about 43 men of their 53 man roster on hand , offense and defense , 7 on 7's . While the Broncos had about a dozen guys show up to share Starbucks in the park with Brian Dawkins , which means if the Raiders leaders organize workouts more along the lines of what the NFC south are doing , Oakland could help itself immensely when the season begins .
While a long way from the type of workouts the players would be enduring at this time if we were looking at business as usual, Oakland could benefit greatly if they end up going with say Barksdale , Campell and Wisneiwski on the right side of our line . I know ... scary thought , but if Walker retires the Raiders may not have many options in our price range that would be much improvement . Never the less , if run right it would be a great opportunity to get our young line together to get some work in . Unfortunately without the elder Wisneiwski able to attend the only vet Oakland has under contract besides two guys cast off from Detroit for being unable to keep Stafford upright is Satele , and it remains to be seen how committed he would be after having his replacement selected on draft day. Though if no improvements are made to the line in free agencey he could hold his job for another year , plugging Wis in at RG where he played in college , allowing Campell and Barksdale to compete for the RT spot . Which if the lockout continues into August may be the best option for the young Wisneiwski , alowing him to develop as a lineman this year , and not have to try to master the offensive line play calling untill next year when he has a full offseason to do so .
Either way , if these workouts do nothing but allow Campell to establish himself as the leader of this offense it will be a success . I've been waiting to see if Oakland's strong push to improve the character of the team will result in the type of leadership this team has so desperately needed for nearly a decade, and though a step in the right direction it remains to be seen whether the team will buy in as New Orleans or just go through the motions like Denver because they saw everyone else doing it .
As for myself , aside from potentailly letting our young offensive line get some time together , I think the biggest advantage to player run workouts for Oakland would be the chance for our leaders to lead , for our QB to establish himself as the leader our offense has so desperately needed , and to see if you choose character over double digit sacks , and leadership over production with character issues , will pay off during an extended layoff in the offseason. Oakland;s character over talent expeirament will be put to the test , this offseason , and our season will hang in the balance .
SD , DEN , and KC all got stronger on draft day , while our offensive line and secondary prepare to suffer debilitating losses when free agency finally opens , and before everyone lights up the comments about we still have free agency , understand the best free agents available at our positions of need are our own , and after our pre lockout spending spree we will not be major players in the market . Our secondary is what it is with the exception of the fact we will have to add the FS we didnt get in the draft , and if you look at the list of safeties available , they are all a downgrade from Huff , who is expected to sign with Dallas , and return to Texas .Unless we decide to give the Pats the rest of next years draft for Mankins , Gallery is the best guard on the list (sad to say) , and though there are affordable solutions at RT , there are 8 teams lined up to make Asomaguah the highest paid free agent in football , and quite possibly the highest paid defensive player in football , and if we spend any big money in the free agent market it will probably be for a veteran receiver , which is definately needed. Point being in order for Oakland to hold the status quo and not take a dip this year , it will take Ray Lewis type leadership from our veterans. Time for our leaders to lead.