In a season that holds as much future realism as this season, it was good to see that we had our rookies signed early, and all of them participating in our mini camps, and they will all be in training camp.
The whole league is awaiting the way Darren McFadden walks on the field. Most reporters were denying the fact that he was a sure fire running back, who is as explosive as anybody they have seen come out of the NCAA in years.
In the mini-camps, a lot of the defensive players for the Raiders were saying that he is extremely explosive, and how they are glad he is in the silver and black. With his addition we should see an increase in our running game, big time.
With this being JaMarcus Russell's first full training camp, there should be a big improvement in his ability to learn they playbook. From all the early reports, his arm strength is past phenomenal, closer to non-human like, in the way he gets velocity into the throw. It isn't like he played bad in his minimal time on the field last season, but the critics were harsh on him, mainly for holding out.
To the wide-outs, we will be in full force, with the key additions to the offense at WR, in Javon Walker,and Drew Carter. Plus the two rookies, Chaz and Arman, the receiving corps will be fast and lethal when paired with a good running game. Not to mention, Zach Miller, who might be a long-term favorite for JaMarcus, after hitting him repeatedly in the last game against the Chargers.
The Defense seems promising with the Defensive backs additions we have made. DeAngelo Hall, paired with Nnamdi Asomugha should be promising, and hopefully we can watch the two for years to come. Along with Gibril Wilson and a former first round selection in Michael Huff, the defensive backfield should be very strong, making teams want to run the ball more, which could be one of our weaknesses this season, but I think the run will be stopped by having safeties come up when opponents show run formations, mixed with linebackers flying around.
In an effort to bring a good team into Oakland, Al Davis has thrown all his chips on the table, leaving most of us with the impression that he wants to win now. For him it is no longer about being patient, and for Lane Kiffin the messgae is clear, "Al wants to be dominant once again."