Leading up to the Raiders-Lions exhibition game at 4:00 p.m. (which will be broadcast delayed on KICU Channel 36 at 7 p.m. PST), Paul Gutierrez takes a look at four questions, in the form of downs, facing fans and the Raiders...
First Down -- What happened to DeMarcus Van Dyke?
Second Down -- Will Rolando McClain cover Calvin Johnson downfield again?
Third Down -- How different will the offensive playcalling be this time around?
Much different. As offensive coordinator Greg Knapp said this week, the Raiders did not gameplan for Dallas or Arizona. They were simply implementing "training camp" stuff, "not, how do you beat Dallas, how do you beat Arizona, because it's not fair to the young guys."
In fact, Knapp encouraged quarterback Carson Palmer to have more of a gunslinger attitude in those two exhibitions, which may help explain his particularly inexplicable interception in Arizona, when he tried to thread the needle on a medium-deep pass to tight end Richard Gordon, who is not known for his soft hands.
Remember, the Raiders opened with the Cowboys on a Monday then played at the Cardinals four days later, so no, there was not a lot, if any, time to prepare for a specific team.
This time, however, the Raiders will have had eight days. "Im pleased," Knapp said. "It may not show up on the scoreboard right now -- we need to improve our scoring production -- but theres been quite a few changeable parts on offense along with learning a new system and I did see, as I told the offense after the second game, good improvement from game one to game two. Were moving the ball well, we've just got to do a better job of finishing."
Which should mean more touches for multi-talented fullback Marcel Reece.