Monday, July 25, 2011
Raiders back-to-work FYI
By Bill Williamson
Readiness factor: The Raiders should be able to get going quickly. Yes, they have a new coach in Hue Jackson, but he was the team’s offensive coordinator last season and there won’t be much change. New defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan isn't familiar with the current roster, but he is a former Oakland defensive coordinator, so he knows the system and has worked with Jackson in the past. New offensive coordinator Al Saunders has worked with quarterback Jason Campbell in Washington. This team should be able to get in sync quickly. More than 30 players participated in a four-day camp in Georgia in late May, which was led by Campbell and defensive lineman Richard Seymour.
Biggest challenge: The Raiders have several key unrestricted free agents, including cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, safety Michael Huff, tight end Zach Miller and guard Robert Gallery. The Raiders could be facing salary-cap restrictions because they re-signed several prospective free agents before the lockout. They could be missing some key players. Also, the offensive line is in flux and must come together quickly.
Campbell has to be ready: Campbell is a free agent after the season and has to have a productive season to prove he can be the answer at quarterback for the foreseeable future. He had an up-and-down season in 2010, but finished strong and has the backing of Jackson. Still, I would have liked to have seen Campbell get some offseason time with his coach.
Key players without contracts for 2011: Asomugha, Huff, Miller, Gallery.