The popular notion is that the NFL exhibition season does not
Well, that’s still true for the Oakland Raiders, who head into their
exhibition finale at Dallas tonight.
It would behoove the Raiders,
however, to play well tonight. Oakland has gone 1-2 in its exhibition contests
and not looked good in any of them. The Raiders, however, plain stunk in a 21-6
loss to Minnesota Friday.
For the record, this story is not
a Raiders 2003 eulogy. Oakland’s preseason performance is no reason to panic
because it would be no surprise if they had similar success as last season once
the real games start.
The Raiders game tonight in Dallas
prepares them in another way -- weather. Oakland opens its regular season Sept.
7 at Tennessee, where they figure to face similar conditions as Dallas – hot.
Romo decision not a huge
The Raiders decision to limit
linebacker Bill Romanowski’s suspension to one day after punching and injuring
backup tight end Marcus Williams should not come as a big surprise.
More so than any other sport,
football is a “what have you done for me lately business?” While Romanowski was
clearly in the wrong to injure Williams, if he can stop running backs and
pressure quarterbacks, he’ll play on Sundays regardless of his history of
If you need a further example,
look at center Barret Robbins after his much-discussed Super Bowl eve
disappearance. The team has shown ample compassion to Robbins, and rightfully
Robbins, however, has been
recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. If Robbins, a Pro Bowler, were able
to block defensive tackles and linebackers, he would be the hands-down starter.
Robbins, however, may not be in a Raider uniform come Sunday after the final
Roland Williams became
The Raiders also showed more than
enough willingness to see if tight end Roland Williams would recover from a
serious knee injury he sustained in last year’s regular season finale.
At best, Williams would have been
ready at the end of training camp. Oakland released Williams Monday, which was a
likely fate all along because of his cap figure and the emergence of second-year
man Doug Jolley and rookie Teyo Johnson. The Raiders also did not have the
luxury of keeping an expensive backup.
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