What to expect from Raiders this training camp. Is the offense going to lag significantly behind the defense like the past few seasons or will the offense start make some plays?
Two great questions I can’t answer along with, “Will Russell’s WR school make a difference?”
So why do I ask these questions? Because I believe that is one small indicator of what to expect from the offense this season. If the defense still proves to be significantly better than the offense, then the offense might not be ready for primetime. That is a scary thought considering the Raiders play in primetime right out of the gate.
If the offense shows significant improvement passing against the their own defense, you that ***may*** indicate a better season on the offensive side of the ball.
I had a nice discussion with a Chargers fan yesterday. He admits the Chargers are probably past their prime in terms of contending for the Super Bowl, but he doesn’t expect any of the other teams in the division to put up much of a fight for the division crown. Take it for what it is worth, but he realizes if the Chargers are to be challenged, it will be by the Raiders and not the Chiefs or Broncos.
As you hear reports out of camp in the coming weeks, keep a watchful eye on how the offense is doing against the defense. Some would argue that the defense will have the advantage because they know the plays. I would contend that the opponents will have studied the Raiders and may know what is coming as well.
A good offense is successful even if the defense knows what is coming. That may be what defines a good offense from a regular one or a bad one. Great offenses might even be a step above that, the defense knows, but they are able to have an even higher success rate to the point where they are imposing their will on that defense.
Of course, this is my opinion, but I think it is pretty much a standard thought.
Also, a lot could be made of the number of balls that hit the ground in drills. The less balls that hit the ground, the better the offense is one thought. Not sure I buy into that line of thinking, but it is indeed something to keep an eye on.
Defensively, plugging run gaps will be something to watch, but with the offensive line not using their normal blocking scheme, it will be difficult to tell how good the defensive line is really doing at plugging gaps until preseason or worse: the regular season.
I could easily do a position by position preview, but every blog/writer is going to do it. I might give you occasional positional insights moving forward. Mostly, I’ll be looking for interesting tidbits on the fringe and offering some insight into these battles as they unfold.
A few postions to watch: WR, Safety, SLB, DE, OT.