AFC West Preview: Oakland Raiders
The last team I will be looking at in the AFC West will be the Oakland Raiders. I will highlight the key players on both sides of the ball who I feel will need to have great seasons for the Raiders to be successful. Oakland Raiders: Offensive Coordinator: Hue Jackson QB(Quarterback): Jason Campbell Last year Jason Campbell had the best season of his career. He threw for 3613 passing yards with 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. The Raiders traded for him in late April after releasing JaMarcus Russell. Word out of camp is that the coaches and players are really impressed with this guy. I am not shocked that the coaching staff and players like him because he is the best quarterback they have had in ages. Campbell really isn't great though. He does have Zach Miller the Tight End to throw to. RBS (Running Backs):Darren McFadden and Michael Bush Darren McFadden was the Raiders 1st round pick, 4th overall in 2008 draft. Thus far he hasn't shown anybody his true potential. Some people are starting to think he's a bust. Last season he rushed for 357 yards and 1 touchdown which is horrible in 12 games played. If he doesn't get going this year and put up some solid numbers it might be time to call McFadden a bust. He is a great athlete but doesn't have the skills to be a quality running back in the NFL. Michael Bush averaged 4.8 yards per carry last season which are pretty good numbers, but the problem was his attitude and stamina. Bush seems to be the better of the two and deserves the starting spot. Lets see who ends up starting. TE(Tight End): Zach Miller Miller has been Oakland's main target in recent years. He is getting a lot better and improving every year. Last season he had 805 receiving yards with 3 touchdowns. Miller will be entering his 4th season, and is probably their best target on the offensive end. Defensive Coordinator: John Marshall LDE/RDE(Left/Right Defensive End): Richard Seymour In 16 games last season with Oakland, he recorded 4 sacks. Seymour is known for being a dominant run anchor and good at clogging up the lanes. He can also provide anywhere from 4-8 sacks a year. He was the only player this off season to be hit with the franchise tag, meaning Oakland wasn’t even willing to lose him for two first-round picks. I would have taken the two first-round picks over Seymour. MLB(Middle Linebacker): Rolando McClain McClain was choosen 8th overall in the 1st round of the 2010 draft. He is a very gritty player and will be a solid tacker. I think he may even lead the Raiders in tackles. Expect him to be in on every play or try to be. He was impressive in mini camps adjusting from the 3-4 scheme he played in college to Oakland's 4-3. CB(Cornerback): Nnamdi Asomugha Many people have been saying that he is the best corner in the league other than Revis. He may not put up the great interception stats, but he amazing on coverage and tackling. Not many balls are thrown his way because many receivers have a hard time getting open against him. I expect him to have another solid season. Overall the Raiders added some nice pieces through the draft, but it remains to be seen how they pan out. I still think the Raiders will finish last in the AFC West with a record of 6 wins and 10 losses.