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Erin's Oakland Sport Picks
A lot of things went wrong for the Oakland Raiders defense in 2014. But of all of those things, the worst one occurred before the season even started. The Oakland defense looked to be set at linebacker. With two stud playmakers on the outside and a steadying presence in the middle in the form of Nick Roach, the linebackers were primed to be the defense's strongest unit. But a season-ending head injury to Roach in the preseason stopped this unit from reaching its potential. The entire defense—not just the linebackers—never recovered from this loss. The Raiders tried using a few different players to fill ...
The Oakland Raiders defensive ends are essential in providing help for a young, inexperienced secondary. For the Raiders, quarterback pressure becomes a vital tool in defeating quarterbacks Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning, who are accurate pocket-passing statues. Both Manning and Rivers have mastered the art of getting rid of the football quickly behind stout offensive lines built to stifle the pass rush. Unfortunately, the Raiders' starting defensive ends lack the willpower to dominate rival offensive lines. Defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. must use clever schemes to create mismatches in efforts to win battles in the trenches. What's the outlook of this position in both the ...
The time is now for the Oakland Raiders' 2013 draft class, and the pressures of the upcoming season could furnish diamonds or deliver a blow to the team's season outlook. The 2013 draftees were general manager Reggie McKenzie’s first full draft class. For his own sake, he’s hoping for a batch of gems to make an impact in 2015.  The rapid development of the 2014 draft class, which includes five or six starters for the upcoming season, only adds to the pressure on some of the three-year veterans handpicked by McKenzie. How will these players in the hot seat respond? Projected Starters  Former sixth-round ...
The Oakland Raiders have made plenty of impressive offseason moves, including the hiring of Jack Del Rio as their new head coach. Why will the Raiders succeed in 2015? What should fans expect this upcoming season?Watch as Adam Lefkoe and Bleacher Report NFL Analyst Chris Simms discuss the Raiders' offseason in the video above. Read more Oakland Raiders news on BleacherReport.com
The Oakland Raiders have good reason to believe second-year quarterback Derek Carr will become a franchise quarterback, but there are still lingering concerns about his play. The concerns are due in large part to the lack of talent around him in 2014 and normal rookie growing pains. Skeptics will point to his ultra-low yards per attempt and completion percentage numbers in 2014 as reasons Carr will slump as a sophomore, but there are many more reasons why he’ll be a super sophomore for the Raiders. Vastly improved talent will make a huge difference for Carr, but history is also on his ...
The excitement behind the Oakland Raiders incoming rookie class can take expectations to a new level. Most fans are innately optimistic about the fresh talent with the utmost faith in their team’s general manager and coaching staff to make the best choices to improve the team. However, coaches and general managers are fired every year for poor personnel decisions, and sometimes rookies don’t pan out. The Raiders drafted 10 rookies in hopes of elevating this franchise out of a rut and overturn the team's struggling ways. Oakland continued to pick up talented, undrafted players to add depth and fill in some roster ...
The All-Star Game is July 14 and the Oakland A's have several quality candidates that could head to Cincinnati to represent the American League. Unfortunately, fan voting seems like it will knock out many of those candidates, from Oakland and many other teams, in place of much less deserving players. Because of that, the likelihood the A's send more than a player or two are slim. Despite that, and a losing record, Oakland has three solid options, with three fringe players that wouldn't be terrible injury replacements.   Fringe Guys I'm not saying these guys should go. I'm saying these guys could go if there is a lack of ...
The Oakland Raiders have several developing talents worthy of future opportunities but not quite ready to take the field during the 2015 season. The Raiders would benefit from stashing these talents on the practice squad for at least a year before activating them as part of the 53-man roster. Practice squads serve as the breeding grounds for NFL rosters when in need of re-enforcements due to injury or subpar talent on the active roster. SBNation.com writer Matt Verderame outlines the guidelines and requirements for practice squads across the league. Who should the Raiders harvest in the practice unit? Which players have the talent ...
The Oakland Raiders have a young and talented team, which leads to difficult cuts when trimming a 90-man roster down to 53 active players. The Raiders' roster bubble should resemble the size of a hot air balloon, and we’ll explore some potential keeps and cuts to place the best talent on the field. The determining factors concerning who’s saved and who’s released hinge upon the following: skill set duplication at the position, need for depth or lack thereof and projection of impact as an active player during the regular season. We’ll focus on the last five to make the active 53-man roster and ...
The Oakland Raiders have had a very busy offseason. The team brought in a lot of talent both through free agency and the draft. Add to that a brand new coaching staff, and hopes are understandably high in the East Bay. The ultimate goal for the Raiders is to once again be one of the top teams in the NFL. But a rebuilding team such as this can't look too far ahead. The process of returning to relevance has to begin with smaller, more manageable steps. For the Raiders, the first step is to be competitive and successful in the AFC West. Oakland ...