In tonight’s game, the Oakland Raiders close out their 2018 preseason with the Seattle Seahawks. More importantly, several points still need clarification.
Both EJ Manuel and Connor Cook get one more chance to prove themselves before the season starts. In their previous three games, neither displayed the traits needed to fill the all-important backup spot. In this game, either must show a command of the offense, solid mechanics, and the ability to hold on to the ball.
With Chris Warren punching his ticket, the Raiders need to decide between DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard. While Richard appears to be most versatile, Washington runs harder and with a little more pop. As a result, this all comes down to Gruden’s preference. Odds appear that Richard’s special teams ability lands him a spot. If one plays well, that decision looks tougher.
Now, Parker did not receive as much buzz as Kolton Miller. Yet, Parker’s raw ability attracted the Raiders. With Donald Penn operating on the right side, je will need an understudy. When Parker plays, observe his technique. When Penn retires, the perennial hole on the right side will open up. This time, Parker should be the one to fill it.
On this entire roster, two more players that are connected do not exist. Effectively, they seem to compete for one roster spot. Due to better coaching, each raised their game this summer. With that said, whom do you choose? Tonight, each will see snaps as a last barometer of roster worthiness. Regardless of who lines up in front of them, Brown and Calhoun need to finish strong.
Last season, Shalom Luani made splash plays in the preseason. When he saw regular season burn, he struggled. Now, faced with a surplus of defensive backs, can he at least show something to land on the practice squad?
During this summer, we saw dozen of players in the beloved colors of the Raiders. More importantly, they lived a dream. Tonight will serve as the final NFL game for some of the players, who played NFL games. These players gained memories that will stay with them forever. As a result of time spent, their grandkids will hear stories about Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, and Jon Gruden. For that summer, they played for the Oakland Raiders. In reality, cut day or not, no one will ever take away from them.