Running back Mike Goodson #25 of the Oakland Raiders rushes the football against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL preseason game
Here we are. The Raiders final preseason game and the final time many of these players will have to prove themselves before the regular season begins. The starters won't be playing much in this game so it will be up to the backups and the roster hopefuls to take the reins.
For the most part Dennis Allen and co. have decided who will stay and who will go. But there are still some decisions to be made. Those decisions vary greatly from who will make the team down to what plays are put in the playbook based on the talent level on the team.
Here are the Raiders players with the most to prove tonight versus the Seahawks:
Coye Francies - The newest member of this team, as he was claimed off waivers from the Seahawks. The Raiders are in an uneasy situation at cornerback. The starters are set with Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer but there isn't much behind them. Francies will have to show the staff that he could provide something more than what they currently have. How he performs could mean he makes the team while others get cut or could mean a very short stay in Oakland.
Terrelle Pryor - He had a fantastic game last week while playing nearly the entire second half. He will get as much or more playing time this week and his goal will be simple-prove it wasn't a fluke. His performance last week came out of nowhere after looking terrible the first two weeks of the preseason. He said it was getting more reps. He should have gotten plenty of reps this week in preparation for this game so that theory will be put to the test. If he can perform well again, the coaches may find a way to get him on the field this season in certain situations. If not, he could be the fastest clipboard holder in the NFL.
DeMarcus Van Dyke / Chimdi Chekwa - These two share a spot on this list every week because they continue to give the staff little indication that they can be trusted. Chekwa had in interception against the Cardinals in week two on a poorly thrown ball. Outside of that, he has not looked good. Van Dyke is the practice wonder who leaves you wondering what happened in the game. With Francies now on the team, it is possible both of them could be gone if they don't show up. And there is a high probability one of them will be out regardless of how Francies performs.
Brandon Underwood - If this team carries five safeties, he is the favorite for that job. But that is still a big if. The team added two players with the first round of cuts and it stands to reason they would add a couple more in the final round. Even if Underwood were to survive the initial cuts, a new face could bump him off the team anyway. He needs to give them a reason to keep him. The best way to do that is on special teams. That is why a team keeps an extra safety. But if he can also show up as a defender, it would add to his value.
Mike Goodson - This team may have already made up their mind on Goodson. But I don't think they have. I think it depends on this game plus what running backs become available with the final roster cuts. Goodson will need to show up big time which is something he has yet to do. He has done quite the opposite actually. It was never a great situation to head into the season with three scat backs but if they all performed well, it is doable. There will very likely be several decent options come available Friday. When that happens, Goodson will not be resting easy. A great performance from him tonight is crucial for him.
Bryan McCann - His chances of making this team were pretty high when he was the only return man. Now he won't be returning punts at very least with Roscoe Parrish on the roster. He will have to show up as a corner back as well as prove he is a viable option as a returner for this team. His performance thus far hasn't been great but that wasn't really his fault. He has shown in the past that he is a good return man. It is simply a matter of whether the team will keep him and Parrish. And that will depend a lot on McCann proving his skills as a defender.
Eddie McGee - The acquisition of Roscoe Parrish may have already spelled the end of McGee's chances of making the final 53 man roster. He has been injured much of the offseason and camp and when he came back, he hasn't looked good. He slipped twice on routes last week and then bobbled a catch which was intercepted. What McGee is really fighting to prove now is that he is worth a spot on the practice squad. The former college quarterback needs to prove that he has the potential to be a great receiver and therefore worth keeping around. Then the team will invest in him as a practice squad player and perhaps he can get called up during the season if needed.