Four questions facing Raiders -- Who cares about a practice game?

August 13, 2012, 11:33 pm
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Editor's Note: This is the fourth 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?

Second downOK, then who will NOT play?
Third downThen someone will pick up the slack, right?
Fourth down
Who cares about a practice game played mostly by guys that won't even be on the final 53-man roster?
Well, a guy chaperoning in a new era in franchise history, a 39-year-old guy making his debut as a head coach for the first time in his professional career. "I think (preseason games have) always been important and they're still extremely important," coach Dennis Allen said. "Any time you get (the players) and put them under the stresses of playing a real game -- and these games, they don't count as far as the standings, but they do matter, they matter to a lot of people -- it's good to see how guys react when those situations arise." So there.