The last time a Bay Area team played in the Louisiana Superdome, in February, it did not end well for them. While the Raiders also were on the losing end in their game Friday against the Nawlins Saints, it’s preseason and not the Super Bowl, so it just left a bad taste in my mouth, not a permanent scar like my friends across the Bay.
Injuries to the offensive and defensive lines have made players have to step up into unfamiliar roles and play with guys they probably had not played with before. Actually, I could’ve sworn I saw a couple of Raiders introducing themselves pre-snap.
There were more injuries against the Saints, including tight end David Ausberry (shoulder) and cornerback Tracy Porter (groin). Porter’s probable absence Friday against the Bears coincides with the debut of Raiders’ first round draft pick, cornerback D.J. Hayden. You are welcome for me not detailing his life-threatening injury like reporters do in every freakin’ story, by the way.
I was concerned when the Raiders’ nonexistent pass rush gave way too much time to Cowboys quarterbacks the previous week, but it was worse in the Big Easy. Saints quarterback Drew Brees had so much time to pick and choose receivers, that in-between passes he posted several on-field smartphone selfies to Instagram (#IhaveALLday).
Ex-Cleveland Browns return specialist Josh Cribbs has been underwhelming since his off-season knee surgery. I’m not sayin’ he is slow . . . okay, I am saying that. I’ve seen septuagenarian grannies get to their fave spot in the bingo parlor faster than Cribbs’ returns.
When it comes to our quarterbacks, I’ve not yet been tempted to go to the Raider Image and see if they have Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor or Matt McGloin jerseys. Right know they all look, at best, like backup quarterbacks, but one will start.
This Friday’s game is the third preseason contest a.k.a the Regular Season Dress Rehearsal. Now, some Raider fans may have been disconcerted by the o-line that chose to pioneer the matador method of picking up blitzes, or be anxious that the defensive pressure put on Brees was slightly more than if a moth had alighted on his uniform, but not me.
I think head coach Dennis Allen is a genius to not reveal too much of the Raiders’ awesomeness in preseason. That way, when it is on for real, the element of surprise will help to demolish opponents.
Yeah, that’s really all I’ve got.
Look, our motto “Commitment to Excellence” is awesome, but, truthfully in this, the first true year of the Reggie McKenzie era, I’d be happy with a Commitment to Improvement.
Reach Raider fanalist–part fan, part journalist–Tony Wade at email@example.com