The fact that the offensive line is missing its number one player, Jared Veldheer, means that the line is going to have to shuffle. With the addition and subtraction of offensive linemen in the pre-season, there are going to be questions about who can play what position. Ultimately, it appears that the Raiders have a couple of different plans in place if Watson cannot play. This lends even more truth to the initial reports that Terrelle Pryor will be starting at quarterback. A mobile quarterback is going to be needed to get away from the pressure that a pocket quarterback (Matt Flynn) cannot.
Let’s not forget that we have running backs who can pound it up the middle, get open in the flat, and be used as extra blockers if needed. We have a couple of receivers who have shown this pre-season that they can find openings, and their ability to “catch” the ball was much improved (i.e., Rod Streater, Denarius Moore, and Brice Butler). It’s time for the Raiders to show the world that it was wrong to make the assumption that the team would be #32 of 32 teams. All those predictions and polls can get dropped off along the Marianas Trench for all I care.
Truthfully, I’m very optimistic about Veldheer’s recovery. First of all, the Raiders kept him on the active roster. To me, this is a good thing. He didn’t get placed on IR. He’s available when he is ready to go. Maybe he comes back at the end of September or the beginning of October. Just depends on how well he can heal and rehab his Tricep muscle. Regardless though, somebody will have to step up and be the guy until he returns.
Sunday is the first game for many NFL teams, including the Oakland Raiders. Our record is the same as 29 other teams right now, 0-0. It’s a long season, and anything is possible. Dump all the crap that has been loaded into your mind over the off-season, and focus on the team in front of you. Evaluate that Raider Nation. Trust me, these players are better than the pundits have advertised.
In case you haven’t seen this, or if you just want to get inside the head of Oakland Raiders Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson, check out this video from www.raiders.com regarding his feelings about Barnes and Pashos making the switch: