For the first time in 7 months, it's Raiders' game day. At 7pm tonight the Raiders will face off against the St St Louis Rams in their preseason opener in Oakland. To see all the details on how to watch the game click here.
It's the debut for Bay Area native Jack Del Rio as head coach of the team for which he grew up a fan. It's a moment that was a long time coming after four years as an NFL defensive coordinator in Carolina and Denver and 9 years as a head coach in Jacksonville.
Del Rio said there won't be any game planning for this one. This game is about evaluating talent. Therefore we will only see the starters for one or two series and then get a long look at the battles for playing time and roster spots.
The coaching staff aren't the only ones seeing their first action in a game. There are several key players who will don their Raiders game uniforms for the first time.
New free agents include center Rodney Hudson, right guard J'Marcus Webb, quarterback Christian Ponder, running back Trent Richardson, wide receiver Michael Crabtree, defensive tackle Dan Williams, middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, outside linebacker Malcolm Smith, safety Nate Allen, cornerback James Dockery, and return man Trindon Holliday.
We will also get the first glimpse of the team's rookies including fourth overall pick WR Amari Cooper, second round DE Mario Edwards, fourth round OG Jon Feliciano, fifth round linebackers Ben Heeney and Neiron Ball, and sixth round DE Max Valles.
An interesting storyline is Raiders undrafted rookie linebacker Chase Williams is the son of Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
The Rams have Nick Foles leading the way at quarterback now after acquiring him via trade with the Eagles. The vicious pass rush duo of Robert Quinn and Chris Long will offer a nice test for Donald Penn and Menelik Watson/Austin Howard while the Raiders interior will get to face off against Defensive Rookie of the Year Aaron Donald.