Oakland Raiders: 5 players who helped themselves after Cardinals game

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 12: Running back John Crockett
GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 12: Running back John Crockett /
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GLENDALE, AZ – AUGUST 12: Quarterback Carson Palmer
GLENDALE, AZ – AUGUST 12: Quarterback Carson Palmer /

Cory James. 1. player. 28. . Linebacker. Colorado State Rams

If there was any bright spot in the first half for the Raiders, it was inside linebacker Cory James. Middle linebacker has been a major Achilles’ Heel these last few years in Oakland. Adding Malcolm Smith from the Seattle Seahawks didn’t work out and now he’s gone.

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It was a trying year for James and Ben Heeney on the inside last season. Oakland added Jelani Jenkins in free agency from the Miami Dolphins, but Miami was even worse than Oakland in the middle of their defense last year.

It’s gotten so bad in Oakland at middle linebacker that the Raiders are going to likely give rookie Marquel Lee the green dot.

Lee did okay in his preseason debut, but didn’t play as fast as one would have liked to have seen out of him.

While the rest of the first-team defense looked out of sorts, James was completely on board with cleanup duty in the middle of this confused defense on Saturday night.

Next: Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals: 3 takeaways

James had a team-high seven tackles, all solo and a quarterback hit. He was the only guy that gave Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer any trouble in that first series. Hopefully James can repeat this effort he showed in Week 1 of the preseason. It was a pleasant surprise to see him make as many big stops early in the game as he did. His effort did not go unnoticed.