Thursday, August 11th will mark the beginning of the Raiders 2011 campaign. This year our preseason will begin in the desert, where we will face up against the Arizona Cardinals. Both teams have made several changes this off-season, however Oakland was a bit more extreme. With Hue Jackson making his NFL Head Coaching Debut, he will be without recently departed free agents Robert Gallery, Thomas Howard, Zach Miller, and of course Nnamdi Asomugah.

I will be excited to see the play of newly acquired TE Kevin Boss, who has had a few good years with the New York Giants. His size is similar to that of Zach Miller. The TE position is a strength to the Raiders offense every year, whether it's because the WR have no hands, or who ever plays TE is always great in the clutch. We will certainly miss Zach Miller, who was Oakland's leading receiver the last two years. We will see if him and Jason Campbell can connect early to start building some chemistry.

The Oakland Raiders took a few WR's in the 2011 draft. David Ausberry out of USC, is a staggering 6'-4" and weighing 255 lbs. He will be tested along with Steve Goulet from Ohio U, who is 6'-2" and 195 pounds, and Denarius Moore from Tennessee, to see if any of them belong in the first group of WR's. They also got Eddie McGee out of Illinois, and Derrick Jones from Cal (PA).

Tonight we will also see the debut of the speedy Taiwan Jones, who could be a good compliment to D Mac, and Bush. He may be on the field with Jordan LaSecla, the Rookie QB out of San Jose State. Also take note of Jamie Cumbie DT, a Rookie out of Clemson to burst through the Line when the Raiders are on Defense.

The addition of Justin Smiley helps solidify depth along the front line. Also the Raiders selected Joe Barksdale (R), and Lou Eliades (R) who should make the O-Line a little bit stronger than last year. Hopefully they can establish a running game early to boost the team's morale, and open up the playbook.

The Cardinals will get their first look at Kevin Kolb, who will more than likely be the go to guy at QB. He will try to get the run going early, but beware of his long arm. When he sees a gap in coverage, he is going to exploit it as much as possible. His key target is going to be Todd Heap, but he will be throwing towards Chansi Stuckey, and Early Doucet as much as possible to build chemistry. He will probably get tricked in coverage and throw a few picks early, but he can bring his team back if they get down early.

My Prediction is to see the Oakland Raiders continue where they left off last Season, on a ROLL!!
They will get on top early, and let the second and third string get a lot of plays in. The game will get exciting when Trent Edwards gets the call, to go deep with the rookie wide-outs. Darren McFadden is my choice for player of the Game.

OAK: 34 ARI: 21


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