Preseason Game 3
New Orleans Saints at Oakland Raiders
Where: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
When: 1 p.m. PDT
Records Preseason: New Orleans 2-0, Oakland 1-1
What's at stake: For five players, this game may well determine whether or not they get the pink slip, as Tuesday September 1st NFL rosters will be trimmed to 75 players from the current 80. For Raiders fans, this is the week in the preseason that game planning is installed, so we will get a real indication as to how the 2009 Raiders run defense will be.
What to look for: Coach Cable has stated that the Raiders starters will play for at least the first half with some playing into the 3rd quarter. Both Saints and Raiders fans have high expectations for their teams and this preseason game could go a long way into showing how ready they are to compete. New Orleans is expected to do big things this year as their young stars should be stepping up and Drew Brees should lead the way. On the other hand the Raiders are hoping training camp has allowed the team to come together to where they will be all playing for each other with one goal in mind: Winning.
This week head coach Tom Cable made the decision on his starting quarterback and to no one's surprise it is JaMarcus Russell. Raiders fans will be looking closely at Russell, who will likely play into the 3rd quarter, then will be relieved by Jeff Garcia who will play the remainder of the game. If Russell plays anything like he did last week than he should be just fine as he went 7 for 11 with 76 yards passing with a touchdown. Also starting again for the 2nd straight week will be rookie wide receivers, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy. With at least a full half to work together, we shall see how well Russell can get the two young wideouts into the game.
For the Saints all eyes will definitely be on Reggie Bush in this game as he is expected to really break out this year and lead the way. Bush missed their last preseason game against the Houston but is expected to shoulder a very big load against Oakland in hopes of being fully fit and ready for the regular season. If Bush cannot carry the whole workload then Mike Bell should be ready to step in after he gained 100 yards and scored a touchdown last week against Houston.
Tom Cable and defensive coordinator John Marshall have put a major emphasis on the run defense during this week's practice. After the last two preseason games where the Raiders run defense was an open sieve against the Cowboys and 49ers. Cable has stated that the reason was the high pad level of his defensive linemen. Cable further stated that they worked hard on that this week and improvement was shown and will continue to show. Both William Joseph and Desmond Bryant have had good camps and games and will both play a lot in this game which may put Terdelll Sands on the waiver wire. This game will tell us a lot about the Raiders run D, players and the new coaches. Also, with Hiram Eugene hurting, Michale Huff will start at free safety and this game will really be the game that Huff needs to showcase himself and step up his game or find another employer. He will certainly be tested by Drew Brees & co.
Who won't play: C John Wade (knee), OT Khalif Barnes (ankle), LB Kirk Morrison (elbow), S Mike Mitchell (hamstring).
Questionable: P Shane Lechler (groin), LB Isaiah Ekejiuba (shoulder), LB Slade Norris (calf), RB Justin Fargas (hamstring), DE Matt Shaughnessy (foot).
Notes from Silver And Black Pride: Sunday's Community Poll tomorrow will be another post game edition. And tomorrow, I will be making a huge announcement regarding a major event coming to Silver And Black Pride.
Enjoy the game...GO RAIDERS!!!