Oakland Raiders: Preseason/Training Camp thoughts

3 of 5

Aug 14, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree (15) is defended by St. Louis Rams cornerback Tremaine Johnson (22) in a preseason NFL football game at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Who Rocked My Socks

Outside of the combination of AC/DC, I thought the passing game as a whole was as on point as I have ever seen from a preseason Raider team. All of the quarterbacks seem to have some sort of chemistry and certain players truly flashed. Rookie tight end Clive Walford made a couple of fantastic catches, one of which was a 15+ yard seam route with defenders on him, and not only did he make the grab, but he took the hit as well. Walford also showed some real blocking talent and should his comparison to Raymond Chester is legit.

Another receiving target that impressed me was Crabtree. To see him pivot and change direction as quickly as he did, makes me think he could be a very valuable asset. I am looking forward to seeing the proper trio of receivers on the field together. All due respect to guys like Kembrell Thompkins and Andre Holmes, the real third receiver for the Raiders that will complete the group is Rod Streater who is coming off of an illness.

Two more players on offense I must mention are Webb and Watson. Those two made a very formidable duo on the right side of the offensive line. Shockingly, Webb actually looked like a solid right guard. I hope he can keep the solid performance up, but consider me still a little hesitant with him. There are going to be some solid tests in the near future that will let us know where this group is at, but the fact Feliciano has not yet had consistent reps at right guard makes me think they are content with Webb holding down the position. The question becomes if he can consistently perform and hold it down.

Defensively there were several players that really impressed me. Of course Khalil Mack had a typically disruptive performance and even opened up the space for Jelly Ellis to get penetration. Along with him, Shelby Harris also made a nice impression along the defensive line. He showed some of the explosiveness that we saw on his old college tapes after the 2014 draft. One player I always find myself rooting for is CJ Wilson and he showed with his instincts and anticipation exactly why he got a new contract after last year. In fact, the depth along the defensive line was on display.

The man who stole the show after last week’s game was rookie inside linebacker Ben Heeney. He absolutely flashed some serious wheels and although I knew he was a heat seeking missile, seeing him keep his hips lined up and play sideline to sideline was impressive. It is early, but he did show why he could be the future middle linebacker for this team. His two cohorts Shirley and Ball also flashed. Both were flying to the ball and holding down their gaps solidly. It seems as if the coaches and Reggie had a plan moving Mack to end and drafting heavy at the linebacker position, and finally the Raiders may actually have quality depth there.

Next: Raiders Notebook: Relax