Four Raiders questions: No. 1 -- Who's making their case?

Four Raiders questions: No. 1 -- Who's making their case?
August 30, 2012, 5:58 pm
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Editor's note: This is the first of a four-part series posing Insider Paul Gutierrez's four biggest questions facing the Raiders in their final preseason game.

SEATTLE -- If ever there was a preseason game that meant next to nothing, this is it -- the fourth and final exhibition. Just don't tell that to the bubble guys trying to make one last impression before rosters are reduced to 53 players by 6 p.m. PT on Friday. Which begs the question, why would Raiders coach Dennis Allen risk playing his starters more than one series in Seattle, let alone against an eager beaver trying to make Seattle's roster by taking out a name player? It's about reps and cohesion and familiarity for Allen and his new-look Raiders in this game, broadcast now on KICU Channel 36 at 7 p.m. in the Bay Area. Four questions, then, in the form of downs, facing fans and the Raiders heading into their final exhibition game

First down -- Who can make their best case tonight?

He may have already won a roster spot with his three batted-down passes and sack last week against Detroit, but another strong showing from defensive tackle Jamie Cumbie would not hurt. It would only help. At 6-foot-7, Cumbie, who spent last season on the Raiders' practice squad, is inordinately tall for an interior defensive lineman and his skill set may make the Raiders think about keeping five D-tackles -- Cumbie along with Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly, Desmond Bryant and draft pick Christo Bilukidi.

"All I do is I show up and I work and I'm just trying to stack good days on top of each other and don't make the same mistake twice and just keep working," Cumbie said. "That's all I've been about my whole career, is I show up and I know how to work."

Technically, Cumbie is listed as a nose tackle in the Raiders' 4-3 scheme. He missed time in camp with an injured foot before returning with aplomb for the Lions game. "Those are the guys you root for," said defensive coordinator Jason Tarver. "Jamie plays hard every snap, and then he comes back and makes a bunch of plays, and ends the game with a tip interception, and gets a sack and all those batted ballsyou make plays on tips and overthrows, and that was a great example of a tipped pass and Christo making a great play."