Editor's Note: This is the first of four questions answered by Raiders Insider Paul Gutierrez. Each new question, or down, will be posted as gametime approaches.
A new era begins in Silver and Blackdom as the Raiders begin an exhibition season without Al Davis for the first time since the Kennedy Administration. General manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen are the new faces of the franchise, with Mark Davis' blessing, of course, and the product they've been assembling since January is on full public display for the first time today at 5 PT, against the Dallas Cowboys. The game will be televised live on ESPN and locally on KPIX Channel 5. Four questions, then, in the form of downs, facing fans and the Raiders heading into the exhibition opener at the ColiseumFirst downHow long will the starters play?
Generally, teams' starters get only a series or two in an exhibition opener. And with injuries starting to pile up in Napa, that would seem to be the smart choice here, right? Well, it is a new era, complete with new offensive and defensive sensibilities so you might see some extended snaps by the first-stringers. In any event, rookie coach Dennis Allen is not saying what his starters' respective work loads will be. Not to the media and not, he says, to the players themselves. "I want our players focused in on going out and playing and not how many reps they're going to get," Allen said. "I won't tell them until they've played the game, and I tell them they're coming out. Because there's only one way to play the game, and that's getting your mind right, and go out and compete. I think a lot of times when you tell them, 'Hey, you're going to play one quarter, you're going to play 10 snaps' there's a little bit of a mental letdown and I don't want that."