Editor's note: This is the third 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?
Second down -- Who is most affected by the signings of Parrish and Francies?
Third down -- Can the vaunted crowd noise at CenturyLink Field actually help the Raiders?
Maybe not Thursday night, but down the road, yes. In fact, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp hopes it's as loud as it's ever been in the Emerald City, even in a practice game, just to get his players ready for such hostile environments down the road.
"Oh, goodness. Im hoping it does (get loud)," Knapp said. "I would love it to be. Weve been working on silent cadence in practice for that reason. Spending my year up there in 2009, I did find out some information how they developed that stadium and the echo they created. It is deafening. Its hard to concentrate in there and thats one reason why, what was it, the Giants had 15 false starts in one game? Its deafening. So, Im hoping that we do get that effect because that would be good for our ball club."
Especially for the younger guys on offense.
"Theres always momentum changes in a game, and to hear the crowd pull in favor of the home team when they have their momentum going, how does a young guy respond when he goes back on the field in a backed-up situation, first and 10 from their own four, does he handle the situation?" Knapp wondered aloud. "Thats why Im hoping we do get the crowd noise so that we do get that effect in a game. Its inevitable theres going to be an ebb and flow of a game. How does a young guy handle that situation when it arises? And thats what we need, is to have those kind of distractions and see if we can still keep our focus."