The entire Raider Nation knows how I feel about the fourth pre-season game…it is when the bottom of the roster is out there showing what the coaches already know (Only Darius Heyward-Bay, Trevor Scott and LaMarr Houston started). Maybe two or three roster spots will be won on good teams, and I think that the Raiders will be a good team this year, so I held my breath and hoped that nobody would get injured as the Oakland Raiders took the final pre-season contest 27-24 over the Seattle Seahawks.
Well, I almost got my wish. Nickleback hopeful, Walter McFadden, the brother of Pittsburgh Steeler CB Bryant McFadden, pulled up lame in the first quarter and didn’t return.
Unexpectedly, I did get something from this game:
A) Stanford Routt looks to have cemented the starting LCB spot. That became quite clear when he was held out and Chris Johnson stunk the place up.
B) It looks like Jared Veldheer will be the starting Center. Satele got pushed around and Jared joined the rest of the starting O-Linemen on the bench to start the game. That may be the shocker of the off-season.
C) 7th round pick Jeremy Ware looks to have made the team. He was good in coverage and his tackling/coverage skills will come in handy from the nickle/dime position.
D) McFadden’s injury may have cost him a shot at the nickle/dime spot and if it’s serious he may be PUP’ed. The Raiders are notorious for PUPing someone they like. That means he will be eligible to return in week 9.
E) Manese Tonga showed that he belongs on the team. I really hope that he makes it. He is a local boy from San Mateo who has overcome a lot, he will be a perfect Raider.
F) Bruce Gradkowsi cemented his spot as the #2 quarterback and Kyle Boller has shown to be more than a capable #3.
G) Michael Bennet will make this team, especiialy with Bush’s injury. Rock Cartwright, not so much, although he did look good out of the backfield.
H) Quentin Groves and Ricky Brown have stood out and Thomas Howard may e traded or released by Saturday Night.
I) Hiram Eugene will be difficult to cut, which leads me to believe more that McFadden may end up on the PUP.
J) Darius Heyward-Bey looked like a #1 pick, agianst a small CB, but he did make and excellent grab, drew a PI, caught a TD that was reversed and made a sick block. Maybe there is something to the reports from camp.
K) The special teams are horrible. It is time for the scholarship to run out on Jim Fassel’s kid.
So, yeah, the game didn’t mean much to me, the roster was nearly set, but, there were some great things that meant a lot to the men who competed tonight.
Stay tuned, as the final cuts will be coming on Saturday and this season promises to be the best in recent memory. Heck, 6 wins would be the best in recent memory.