Welcome back all you football fans and Raider fanatics! It is that time of year again, FOOTBALL TIME!
Wins and losses don't matter in the pre-season but it is still nice to field a competitive team. Unfortunately, the Raiders will be missing a few players for this one. Levi Damien tweeted earlier a quick rundown of the people that won't be playing.
Though that is a fairly long list already for the first game in the preseason, there are no surprises on it at least. Each of those players have been consistently missing time all training camp due to various nicks, bruises and surgeries.
Enough on the players that wont be there, let's concentrate on who will be there instead. Matt Schaub will be starting but is not anticipated to player for very long, maybe 12-14 snaps is one estimate I have heard thrown out there. Once he sits the Raider Nation will get their first glimpse of 2nd round pick Derek Carr who will takeover once Schaub is sat. Matt McGloin will see a lot of action in the game after that.
With Maurice Jones-Drew also being a veteran I wouldn't expect to see much of him either and with Darren McFadden's penchant for injuries he likely wont be out there much either. The real story at the running back position is the battle for the 3rd spot anyway and that means a lot of Latavius Murray, Kory Sheets, and Jeremy Stewart. This is the time for one of those backs to separate themselves from the pack and grab hold of the position.
As far as the receivers go, that is an unknown on who will end up seeing the most action. The depth chart is far from confirmed from top to bottom there so any of the receivers could end up seeing a fair amount of time. Hopefully this is where us Raider fans really get to see a show as the position is talented throughout even if they don't have a true number 1 receiver as of yet.
Starting out on defense will be the first round selection that we have heard so much about in Khalil Mack. In a perfect world he will come out the gate making plays left and right while looking like the second coming of Clay Matthews. However, don't forget this is just the preseason and only the first of the 4 games at that. Don't get too high from the good plays or too low if he, or anybody else on the squad, doesn't play well.
With Charles Woodson being older than dirt he probably will not see much time so expect to see the back ups quite a bit. No use getting injured in the first pre-season game and if Charles is out there he always plays hard so it is better to keep him out anyway. I am most interested in seeing what Jonathan Dowling will do out of the Safety group, though he is Tyvon Branch's back up and not Woodson's.
Really, I can't wait to watch them all! It has been an excruciating wait and it is exciting for it to almost be over. Get your Raiders gear on and warn the family not to bother you unless it is a commercial. It is Raiders football time and the first game of the 2014 pre-season is about to kick off. Go Raiders!