2010 Oakland Raiders Season Preview

The Jamarcus Russell experiment is officially over in Oakland. Now that they've parted ways with arguably the biggest draft bust ever, the 2010 Oakland Raiders Team Preview appears to be looking bright.

To replace Russell, the Raiders brought in former Washington Redskins quarterback, Jason Campbell, to lead the team. Campbell, who has had his own issues leading Washington, will upgrade an Oakland offense that ready couldn't get any worse, but will likely not have a major impact on the team's wins and losses totals.

Between Darren McFadden and Michael Bush, the Raiders have two talented backs who have yet to show that they can put together healthy, productive seasons. Couple that with the questionable receiving corps that the team maintains, and you have a lot of question marks for the Oakland Raiders in the 2010 NFL Season.

On the other side of the ball was the one bright spot for the 2009 Oakland Raiders, the secondary. Led by Nnamdi Asomugha, the Raiders secondary finished 7th in pass defense, a pretty impressive number considering the rush defense finished in 29th. Even though the defense was not good against the run, the somehow managed to record 37 sacks, good enough for 11th place in the NFL.

If the Oakland Raiders are to improve upon their 5 wins from last season, the 2010 Oakland Raiders Season Preview predicts that it will begin with their defense. With that said, it won't be entirely on the defense to win games, the offense must contribute as well. Having the 31st ranked offense simply won't cut it this season, especially not with the high draft picks the Raiders have had the past few seasons.
2010 Oakland Raiders Coaching Staff & ChangesThough some never gave him much chance after the Lane Kiffin firing, Tom Cable is still the head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Despite taking a job which already had the odds stacked against him, Cable has done a decent job managing the talent he's been given. Now that JaMarcus Russell is gone, maybe the Raiders offense can start to experience some consistency while is something they have known nothing about in seasons past, especially from the QB position.

The controversy that embroiled Cable last year has now passed. The allegations that he assaulted Randy Hanson and threatened the man's life did not stick. Despite the best efforts of Hanson, Cable remains a free man. With that behind him, Cable is free to concentrate on bringing the Raiders back to a level where they can consistently compete.2010 Oakland Raiders Key Free Agency Acquisitions & LossesAcquistions
QB - Jason Campbell traded from Washington Redskins
LB - Kamerion Wimbley traded from Cleveland Browns
QB - Kyle Boller from St. Louis Rams
DE - Quentin Groves traded from Jacksonville Jaguars
RB - Rock Cartwright from Washington Redskins
CB - Joey Thomas from Miami Dolphins

LB - Kirk Morrsion traded to Jacksonville Jaguars
QB - JaMarcus Russell to Free Agency
WR - Javon Walker to Free Agency
OT - Cornell Green to Buffalo Bills
RB - Justin Fargas to Free Agency
QB - J.P. Losman to Free Agency
2010 Oakland Raiders NFL DraftRound 1: Pick 8 - LB, Rolando McClain (Alabama)
Round 2: Pick 44 - DT, Lamarr Houston (Texas)
Round 3: Pick 69 - OT, Jared Veldheer (Hillsdale)
Round 4: Pick 106 - OT, Bruce Campbell (Maryland)
Round 4: Pick 108 - WR, Jacoby Ford (Clemson)
Round 5: Pick 138 - DB, Walter McFadden (Auburn)
Round 6: Pick 190 - LB, Travis Goethel (Arizona State)
Round 7: Pick 215 - DB, Jeremy Ware (Michigan State)
Round 7: Pick 251 - DB, Steve Brown (Michigan)
2010 Oakland Raiders QuarterbacksWhile the Raiders may want to pretend that there is a competition for the starting position, everyone knows that it's really Campbell's position to lose. Not only did they trade for the former Redskins quarterback, but they also gave him a contract extension right off the bat. Campbell is an obvious upgrade from the mistake that was Russell, and reportedly was even more mobile than anticipated at pre-season camps.

Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye will battle it out for the back-up role, and each one brings something to the table. Gradkowski is a high-octane back-up who proved his worth in victories over the Bengeals and Steelers last year. Frye, however, is a personal favorite of Cable for his strong work ethic. Kyle Boller, for what it's worth, has a background with the new offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson, with whom he worked in Baltimore at one point.

2010 Oakland Raiders Quarterback Depth Chart
QB - Jason Campbell
QB - Bruce Gradkowski
2010 Oakland Raiders Running BacksMcFadden, despite a few glimpses of brilliance, has been unable to stay healthy or productive since being the No. 4 overall pick in the 2008 draft. This will likely be his last season to prove that he can be an every down back before he gets shifted over to wide receiver.

Luke Lawton is the only fullback on the roster with any experience, and he will open up 2010 with a two-game suspension for violating the league's PED policy. Bush was the team's leading rusher last season with 589 yards on 4.8 yards per carry, and the Raiders will no doubt be eying his durability and productivity all season long. Rock Cartwright will likely have an edge over Michael Bennett for a back-up role because of his prior experience on special teams, and Marcel Reece will have to show that he do something beyond catching passes to justify his team on the field.

Projected 2010 Oakland Raiders Running Back Depth Chart
RB - Darren McFadden
RB - Michael Bush
2010 Oakland Raiders Wide ReceiversDarrius Heyward-Bey will look to bounce back from a disappointing rookie season where he had nine catches for 124 yards despite being the most targeted receiver on the team through 12 games. The Raiders hope that by bringing in a capable new quarterback and improving the offensive line, that they will get some more solid production out of their 2009 first round draft choice.

Chaz Schilens proved during last year's training camp that he is a potential star before an injury kept him out until midseason. Nevertheless, when he returned to the field he still managed to catch 29 passes for 365 yards and two touchdowns.

Louis Murphy has proven himself to be extremely effective with 34 catches for 521 and a nose for big players. Johnnie Lee Higgins took a step backwards last season after a Week 1 concussion, and will no doubt feel pressure from both Jacoby Ford and Jonathan Holland next season for time on the field.

Zach Miller is arguably the best tight end nobody in the league has ever heard of. With 166 receptions for over 2,200 yards in his first three seasons, Miller is a Pro Bowl-caliber player, one of the few mentioned within this 2010 Oakland Raiders Preview. Brandon Meyers was a 2009 draft pick with a particular nose for special teams plays and good hands. Tony Stewart, while not as good of a receiver as Meyers, is an extremely efficient blocker and will no doubt find time in the Raiders' rotation.

Projected 2010 Oakland Raiders Wide Receiver Depth Chart
WR - Chaz Schilens
WR - Darrius Heyward-Bey
WR - Louis Murphy
WR - Johnnie Lee Higgins

Projected 2010 Oakland Raiders Tight End Depth Chart
TE - Zach Miller
TE - Brandon Myers 2010 Oakland Raiders Offensive LineMario Henderson was among the league leaders in sacks allowed this past season, and will clearly have to fix that with the arrival of Campbell. Aside from leaving his QB open, Henderson was also prone to penalties in his first full season as a starter. In order for the O-Line to be successful this year, Henderson will need to learn and grow quickly. Robert Gallery started last season with an appendectomy, and ended it with a broken fibula and back surgery. Now, back healthy, he will try to prove to the team that he can be effective in a starting capacity. Cooper Carlisle is an experienced zone blocker, however, he has proven to be more and more ineffective in each of his past three seasons. Langston Walker will be some legitimate force to the team's power blocking into zone schemes.

Jared Beldheer will be groomed all season to eventually start at one of the tackle positions, and his level of progression will ultimately be determined by his work ethic. Khalif Barnes, Bruce Campbell and Erik Pears will all do their best to try to earn playing time during the opportunities they will no doubt get during preseason play.

Projected 2010 Oakland Raiders Starting Offensive Line
LT - Mario Henderson
LG - Robert Gallery
C - Samson Satele
RG - Cooper Carlisle
RT - Khalif Barnes2010 Oakland Raiders Defensive LineRichard Seymour made sure that he would not miss this year's training camp by signing his exclusive free agent tender earlier in the summer. As a result, he will be able to teach younger players next year, all the while being a very lethal inside/outside threat. Desmond Bryant will take over for Gerrard Warren after a very strong rookie season. Tommy Kelly has not yet proven himself to be worthy of the $18+ million guaranteed that he got two years ago, but will look to redeem himself this year with a strong performance to lead the defensive unit. Matt Shaughnessy had a very promising rookie season with four sacks, and will look to build on that in his sophomore campaign. He will take over for Greg Ellis who was released by the team earlier this summer.

John Henderson will assume a backup role for the 2010 Oakland Raiders, and will try to show all doubters that he still has something left after playing for eight seasons in the Raiders' defense. Lamarr Houston was an inside player in college, and will be played as a strong side end over a tight end to start the season. Eventually, he could work his way into the starting line-up.

Projected 2010 Oakland Raiders Starting Defensive Line
DE - Matt Shaughnessy
DT - Tommy Kelly
DT - Desmond Bryant
- Richard Seymour2010 Oakland Raiders LinebackersKamerion Wimbley was given to the Raiders via trade from the Browns, and will hopefully provide the team with an ability to rush the passer. Rolando McClain will continue to provide the same type of strong impressive play that made him a standout last season, and will anchor this unit. Trevor Scott is going from being a nickel rusher to playing weakside linebacker, and time will tell how long he stays at his current position.

Ricky Brown is a crafty veteran who can both on both the middle and strong side, as well as be a useful special teams player. The only major concern with him, as is with many of the defensive players, is his health. Quintin Groves is a former first round draft pick with a knack for pass rushing that was acquired via trade.

Projected 2010 Oakland Raiders Starting Linebackers
SLB - Kamerion Wimbley
- Rolando McClain
WLB - Thomas Howard
2010 Oakland Raiders SecondaryNnamdi Asomugha was an elite cornerback last year, but rarely got to showcase his skills because teams simply avoided his side of play. Over the past two years, he has shown a lot of growth in his tackling and physicality against the run. Michael Huff appeared to be a bust at one point last year, but later picked it up and have a nice performance as the team's single deep safety. Tyvon Branch led all NFL safeties in tackles with a 123 total, due in large part because of how much was given by the Raiders' front seven. If the 2010 Oakland Raiders are to continue improving, the secondary must match last year's effort.

Projected 2010 Oakland Raiders Starting Seconday
CB - Chris Johnson
CB - Nnamdi Asomugha
SS - Tyvon Branch
FS - Michael Huff

2010 Oakland Raiders Preview