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Plenty of bright spots for Raiders in exhibition opener

OAKLAND — The problem with exhibition games, especially the first one, is that it’s easy to make too much out of what you see when there hasn’t been any football played for seven months or so.
In the case of the Raiders, that thinking goes out the window. This is a team in the midst of a massive overhaul, and any positives and reasons to believe are things to be treasured.
So, feel free, go ahead and get carried away with the way Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin played in relief of presumptive starting quarterback Matt Flynn in tonight’s 19-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Try to picture rookie wide receiver Brice Butler as a staple of the passing game. Let your mind envision rookie Latavius Murray as the starting running back next season, assuming the Raiders don’t re-sign Darren McFadden.
After the way those guys played tonight, you’re entitled. So are Raiders coach Dennis Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie.
Maybe this is why Allen, McKenzie and the players act as if they know something that none of us will comprehend until we see the Raiders play. Maybe this is an aberration. Who knows?
For one game, anyway, the future looks bright and the Raiders have hope of being competitive in the AFC West, despite nothing but negative press from the national media.

– Flynn got flattened by Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee on the fourth play of the game. Fortunately for Flynn and the Raiders, the hit caused only a fumble and not an injury to Flynn.
It appeared as if the Cowboys just called a well-timed blitz and caught the Raiders short of blockers to account for Lee. That’s better than someone missing an assignment.
Pryor’s impressive night wasn’t without flaw. He capped one drive by making an ill-advised throw across his body and into heavy traffic in the end zone. Predictably, the pass was intercepted by the Cowboys.
As former Raiders coach Jon Gruden used to say, “Sometimes the best play you make is the one you never make.” Meaning, don’t force things and throw away the ball. Live to see another down.
That’s one of the lessons that Pryor will learn as he grows as a quarterback. It’s why it’s so important for the Raiders to play Pryor as much as possible, so that Pryor can see things in game settings, learn from them and evolve as a quarterback.
Pryor looked as comfortable as I can recall seeing him since he arrived late in camp in 2011. He didn’t panic, waited for plays to develop, showed nice touch and made plenty happen with his feet.
It will be interesting to see whether Allen and McKenzie give Pryor a legitimate shot to beat out Flynn for the starting gig knowing that they didn’t have much confidence in Pryor last season.

– Undrafted rookie Matt McGloin entered the game ahead of fourth-round draft pick Tyler Wilson, which comes as a bit of a surprise, even though McGloin was getting more reps of late in practice.
The fact that McGloin is ahead of Wilson in the pecking order doesn’t bode well for Wilson, who looked sharp in some offseason workouts.
McGloin didn’t do anything to hurt his chances of making the 53-man roster ahead of Wilson, either. He capped a solid showing with a well-thrown pass that Butler turned into a touchdown with a diving catch in the end zone.
Wilson entered the game in the fourth quarter and promptly got sacked on his first snap. Ultimately, he settled into a rhythm and put together some decent drives.

– Butler served notice that he isn’t afraid of doing whatever it takes to get noticed by the coaches. It’s not every day that you see a rookie make a diving catch in his first NFL game.
Butler’s play stands out even more when Jacoby Ford is on the sideline injured and Juron Criner and others aren’t doing anything of note.
The Raiders are likely to carry six receivers on their 53-man roster. The smart money says, Denarius Moore, Rod Streater and Ford and locks. Criner figures to have an edge, too, based on his experience and potential.
Beyond that, it’s wide open for the final two spots. Butler and Andre Holmes are making the most noise among a crowded field right now.

– Taiwan Jones carried over his eye-opening play in training camp to Friday night’s game. It’s now not so strange to imagine Jones making the roster as a cornerback.
He entered the NFL as a running back. However, he converted to cornerback out of frustrating after not getting a chance to show what he can do with the ball in his hands.
It appears as if the move is paying dividends for Jones and the Raiders. On Friday night, Jones showed nice instincts, the ability to break on the ball and make plays in tight coverage.
Now, let’s not get carried away just yet. Jones still has a way to go before he gets considered for a starting job or meaningful playing time. However, it’s saying something that he has come this far in such a short period of time.

– We told you about Murray during the offseason. Now you see what we meant when we promised you that you were going to like what you see.
He’s that impressive. On Friday, Murray debuted in a Raiders uniform and showed that he has the size, speed, strength and ability to be a dependable back.
He rushed for only 29 yards on eight carries, but it’s the way he carries himself, his decisiveness when he runs and the confidence.
Hence, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Allen take a real long look at Murray this season as a means of gauging whether he already has a potential replacement for McFadden on his roster.

– Other odds and ends:
The Raiders committed only four penalties for 35 yards. That would have been a typical series for the 2011 Raiders, or several other teams from the past couple of decades.
The Raiders intercepted one pass (Usama Young) and recovered a muffed punt (Eric Harper). Their lone turnovers came as a result of the Flynn sack and the Pryor ill-advised pass.
Rashad Jennings looked sharp as a complement to McFadden and the leading candidate as the short-yardage back. He rushed for 39 yards on nine carries, which included his converting a third-and-one early on.
Chris Kluwe’s one punt grossed/netted 36 yards. Marquette King’s lone punt grossed/netted 50 yards and ended with the fumble. King’s punt was quite solid, but it had nothing to do with the Cowboys player coughing up the ball.
Undrafted rookie Greg Jenkins flashed a few times, once on a 51-yard kick return and again on an 11-yard punt return that he fielded under pressure so that the ball didn’t keep bounding toward the Raiders goal line. These are the kinds of things that don’t go unnoticed. Keep an eye on Jenkins, a college quarterback who converted to wide receiver as a way of increasing his odds of making an NFL roster.
The Raiders defense held up pretty well against the run, even though they were thin on the defensive line. The Cowboys rushed for 70 yards on 20 carries.

– A handful of Raiders didn’t play Friday night: Ford, cornerback D.J. Hayden, linebackers Kaluka Maiava, Miles Burris and Billy Boyko, offensive tackle Menelik Watson, guard Lucas Nix and defensive linemen Lamarr Houston, Brandon Bair, Pat Sims and Vance Walker.

– The Raiders announced during the game that former Raiders offensive tackle Lincoln Kennedy will be part of the broadcast team this season. Kennedy was at the game tonight, and the Raiders introduced him in the second half.

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Steve Corkran

  • PilagingJustForFun

    Gruden is watching!!

  • Twocents

    I am not comfortable building a team around a running QB. It’s great to have a QB that can move like Pryor but he has to be able to make quality throws.

  • PilagingJustForFun

    Idiot

  • PilagingJustForFun

    I would trade Flynn for a DE right now!

  • 0ak r8rs

    0ak R8rs Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 4:25 pm
    Sir RaiderDuck, OMS Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 3:53 pm
    J Hill Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Not sure why “Wimbley” and “10 -12 sacks” are being mentioned together.

    ======================================

    He sure didn’t have that many his final season with us.

    @@@@@@@@

    His sack numbers weren’t there his last year but he was disruptive. Even disruptive would be significantly better than what we had for most of last night.

    @@@@@@@

    Oh. And btw. He had 16 sacks in two years w us. That is 8 a year. Slightly shy of 10 to 12 like I thought, but better than anything we can hope for right now. And I’m not saying we necessarily should have kept him. He got huge $ and we couldn’t afford him and he only had 6 sacks last year. But he is disruptive. And we could some disruption.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    A meme (/ˈmiːm/; meem)[1] is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.”[2] A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.[3]
    —————————
    Pryor can’t pass

  • http://WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    PilagingJustForFun Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    What could Gruden do with Pryor??

    ================================

    Judging by his track record of developing young players, not much.

  • SaintKaufman

    Pilaging…
    Cool handle
    But certainly not your original one, eh?

  • 0ak r8rs

    The Famous Dr Robert Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 4:33 pm
    PilagingJustForFun Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 4:31 pm
    What could Gruden do with Pryor??
    ******
    Have Flynn throw to him.

    @@@@@@@@

    Haha. Zing.

  • CDERaider

    Pryor is pushing Flynn (even McGloin is too) – this is exactly what we need. Flynn knows he needs to play his best to keep his spot.

  • LTR

    Flynn will be a sevicable to very good backup, like he’s been the last 5 years. Pryor is going to be our winning, game changing QB for the next 10 years. I don’t think it’s a question of if, so much as when.

  • SaintKaufman

    KK,
    Why do you insist on coming here for your daily shaming??

    Oh please, enlighten us with your zen-like hyperbole of everything KK!

  • PilagingJustForFun

    Goodbye blog master with 10 names on this blog who carries on a conversation with himself daily!!

  • Myopinion

    Moore will give us what wimbley would, and potentially more, he can actually play lb.
    Bass would be extra
    The dline will be ok, dt is my fear,only because of injury, if healthy I think well be better than weve seen in years,just may take more guys to do it

  • CDERaider

    We saw more creativity in 1 preseason game on offense formations and play calls than the entire season last year. Olsen looks light years better than – well you know who… maybe Gruden did suggest him to Mark as was rumored – his stuff looks alot like Grudens.

  • 0ak r8rs

    PilagingJustForFun Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 4:41 pm
    Goodbye blog master with 10 names on this blog who carries on a conversation with himself daily!!

    @@@@@@@@

    Goodbye.

  • Just Fire Baby

    And the sd gaffe, u cant blame him for that. He slipped. It was raining.

    ****************************

    Throw it out of bounds then.

    You tuck it, you live with the results.

    HAS TO clean this up if he wants to be a long term answer.

  • PilagingJustForFun

    Was RaiderDanny, new phone

  • Bigmike34

    Xrated

    Or offense was better in the 2ond quarter playing against their second team defense

  • 0ak r8rs

    CDERaider Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 4:42 pm
    We saw more creativity in 1 preseason game on offense formations and play calls than the entire season last year. Olsen looks light years better than – well you know who… maybe Gruden did suggest him to Mark as was rumored – his stuff looks alot like Grudens.

    @@@@@@@

    Yea. I was talking about that this morning. Seemed like every QB almos had their own offensive scheme. Especially Pryor. Pretty impressive having all those formations and plays installed by game 1 preseason. Guy must work Gruden hours, 25 hours a day in the building. Krapp? Not so much I’m guessing.

  • Breaking_Black

    Louis Murphy picks up a blocked punt! MVP!

  • http://WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    0ak r8rs Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Yea. I was talking about that this morning. Seemed like every QB almos had their own offensive scheme. Especially Pryor. Pretty impressive having all those formations and plays installed by game 1 preseason. Guy must work Gruden hours, 25 hours a day in the building. Krapp? Not so much I’m guessing.

    ======================================

    I’m sure Knapp put in the hours as well. But Knapp believes in adjusting your players to fit your offense. Olson and Saunders (and Hue, for that matter) believes in adjusting your offense to fit your players. Since Pryor has a similar skillset to Cam Newton, it would make sense to use some of the Panthers’ plays and formations with him.

  • PilagingJustForFun

    I hope your not some paralyzed man in a hospital bed with a tv and computer by your bed side!! Nothing you can do but talk to yourself, watch porn, an change your bed pan!

  • http://WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    Breaking_Black Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Louis Murphy picks up a blocked punt! MVP!

    =======================================

    Oh God no. Don’t even get Al_is started on that. He’ll try telling you again that Murphy is better than any receiver on our roster (except Moore), despite a bunch of our guys catching more passes than him last year.

  • Myopinion

    No. I dont agree one can predict slipping. Its raining every yard helps jano. He had the right idea in mind. I think. Just slipped.
    And the pick last night, I would sure hope he doesnt do that again.

  • SaintKaufman

    a tool (verb; tule, like mule) [1] KoolKell

  • Raider E

    Stupid. Everyone is someone else eh

    ——————————-

    Exactly what MR said earlier, Dr.Flip Flop

  • SaintKaufman

    E,
    Am I Dr Bob?

  • 0ak r8rs

    Statwise we only had 4 penalties for 35 yards, none of those by the 1s I believe. And won time of possession by 5 minutes. Something we couldn’t do last year. Say what you wan about the lack of talent on D last year. They were gassed by the 3rd quarter of almost every game last year. Lack of offensive production in the first 3 quarters was embarrassing.

  • SnBG

    * Dline is in major trouble. Got blown back on practically every play. Reggie needs to sign at least one DT *and* a DE off waivers that can push /hold the line or we’ll get destroyed up front. Sims cant stay healthy and Crawford is invisible.
    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
    Where were the starters last night? Don’t you think we should see them before we make judgements.

  • PilagingJustForFun

    Google it, RaiderDanny from Sirius NFL radio! Siriusfootballheads

  • PilagingJustForFun

    Peace out

  • SaintKaufman

    PilagingJustForFun Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Google it, RaiderDanny from Sirius NFL radio! Siriusfootballheads

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Well don’t get all bunched up it Danny boy. Obviously I had never seen your ‘handle’ before so I called you on it. Just having some fun.

  • One Up

    For all the armchair statisticians out there. Here’s some preseason stats from last year:
    Game 1:
    Player A (3/3 for 16 yds; 128.5 rating)
    Player B (5/9 for 40 yds; 66.9 rating)

    Game 2:
    Player A (5/9 for 49 yds; 71.1 rating)
    Player B (4/8 for 19 yds; 56.2 rating)

    Player A is better right?

    Actually Player A is Alex Smith and Player B is Colin Kaepernick. Game managers have no upside. They are what they are. If you can coach up the dynamic talent, you give yourself a chance to win.

  • 0ak r8rs

    PilagingJustForFun Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 4:53 pm
    Google it, RaiderDanny from Sirius NFL radio! Siriusfootballheads

    @@@@@

    Yea. I’ve heard Raider Danny. Don’t think you’re right on the radio much either. ;)

  • SaintKaufman

    ^^^^^^ABOUT it. Jesus I suck at this!

  • Just Fire Baby

    And the pick last night, I would sure hope he doesnt do that again.

    ****************************

    That’s it, I don’t like saying THAT about my starting QB.

    “I would sure hope………”

    Use TP in packages this year, play if Flynn gets hurt, and groom him to be the unquestioned starter day 1 of camp next year.

  • Myopinion

    Say pryor tucks and runs for the td, he would have dominted the qb comp game 1. Dumb mistake,easy fix.

  • SaintKaufman

    Man, this sucks.
    Danny ran away, KK disappeared and even Dr Bob’s not here to protect his name.

    bummin….

  • RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit

    McGloin makes FLYNN expendable IMO..

    Flynn has 2 starts over McGloin.

    Obviously it should be PRYOR, 1 McGloin 2. this year and Wilson kept he has only been here for a few months.

    U dont need flynn cuz McGloin does everything better. Pryor is already the leader on the team.. just look at the photos the players post on instagram

  • PilagingJustForFun

    20% of this blog is awesome!! 80% dung hole overflowing septic tank, dirty panties with a yeast infection!!

  • DJ Johnny

    McGloin is listed at 6’1. Flutie at 5’9.

  • RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit

    Palmer has made a living at throwing INTS / Pick Six.. no complaints

  • RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit

    McGloin is more like 6ft ish

  • irjonny

    why in god’s name did we not draft Damontre Moore?!

  • SaintKaufman

    PilagingJustForFun Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    20% of this blog is awesome!! 80% dung hole overflowing septic tank, dirty panties with a yeast infection!!

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Wait a minute, that kind of talk sounds familiar but not from some Danny boy character. Hmmmm…..

  • Myopinion

    Agin , I disagree, his mistakes will be fixed by playing. if rm feels he can be the qb of the future,and flynn isnt lihts out, give him every rep possible,ill bet he improves faster that way. Have our future qb totally ready for nexy year with all our cap and a full draft

  • 0ak r8rs

    PilagingJustForFun Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 5:01 pm
    20% of this blog is awesome!! 80% dung hole overflowing septic tank, dirty panties with a yeast infection!!

    @@@@@@@

    Like I said. Heard you on Sirius plenty. Should have kept it to yourself. It’s embarrassing when you use Raider in your name because most times you come on there clueless. Think you could start calling yourself Dumb@ss Danny instead? All is real Raider fans would really appreciate it.

  • PilagingJustForFun

    It’s all good

  • DJ Johnny

    RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 5:02 pm
    McGloin is more like 6ft ish

    Possibly. Imo he looks the 6’1 he’s listed at but Flynn? He looks more 6 footish…to me.