It’s hump day between the Raiders’ second and third preseason game, which means we are halfway through the preseason. Just 18 days to go. Let’s look at the guy wearing number 18 for the Raiders.
QB Connor Cook
This is the first year Cook will wear number 18. He had been number 8, but took 18 when Andre Holmes left as a free agent. Cook was the team’s fourth round pick last year and after spending 15 games among the inactives, he found himself taking the field in the season finale and making his first career start in the playoffs in Houston.
Matt McGloin would have gotten the start, but after coming in for Derek Carr, McGloin didn’t last until halftime of the season finale in Denver before he too was injured (shoulder), prompting Cook to come in and try to hold onto the top spot in the AFC West.
It was a lot to ask of Cook to come in and carry the Raiders offense to a win in Denver, let alone start a playoff game. As you might expect, it didn’t go well and the Raiders’ first trip to the playoffs in 14 years was a one-and-done.
With McGloin leaving as a free agent, Cook was expected to take over as the primary backup. The team also added EJ Manuel, but it was Cook’s job to lose. And lose it he did. Manuel looked great in the offseason and training camp, while Cook continued to have his issues, including in the team’s first preseason game.
The second preseason game was a reversal of fortune between the two quarterbacks, with Manuel having a terrible game, and Cook orchestrating a touchdown drive late. But one drive isn’t going to be enough for Cook to win the job. It has to be the start of something.
Who wore it best: K Jeff Jaeger (1989-95)
A former third round pick by the Browns, he spent just one season in Cleveland. He joined the Raiders in his second season and spent seven seasons as the Raiders' kicker and made All Pro in 1991. In total he made 152 of 204 field goal in the regular season and went 6 for 7 in five playoffs games (remember those?). His 667 points is fourth most in franchise history. He finished his career with four seasons in Chicago.