The Raiders first team offense did not have the expected spark in Thursday’s preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys. There weren’t any of the new and improved fireworks that have been promised over the offseason.
Jason Campbell missed on two deep ball opportunities. Michael Bush got consistent positive yards, and there was a drive completely derailed by a sack that had Head Coach Tom Cable send the starters out for the second quarter to get more quality repetitions.
Cable was not concerned about the team’s struggles when he spoke to the local media via a conference call on Friday. “It looks to be probably a little better than what I thought last night after the game,” and he was convinced, “I think we can fix it, and fix it rather quickly.”
He was particularly not happy with the play of the offensive line in particular, and the offense in general on the second offensive drive, “That was a tough series of plays. I mentioned that. I didn’t like it so I put them back out there.” Cable added, “I did not like the second series very much. It just felt like we were going to put the line and the quarterback back out there together and see if they can kind of put some cohesiveness together which they were able to do a little bit.”
Other than that one drive, Cable did see numerous positives he could take away from the performance as the team moves onwards toward the regular season, “Good ball security, no turnovers or anything like that.” He added, ” I thought we could have been maybe a little faster in our tempo in and out of the huddle, but that’s normal for the first game of the preseason. But in terms of communication, we even ran a little bit of no-huddle, he handled that very well. So I was pleased with that.”
Cable had praise for both Bruce Campbell and Jared Veldheer: “The longer they played I thought the better they got. That’s encouraging, and I’ll look for bigger and better things this week vs. Chicago.”
Cable said that Lamarr Houston and Matt Shaughnessy’s presence in the final drives were due to where they were in the rotation, not to have starters in late: “Well, you have to understand, he and Shaughnessy both are with the second nickel team, so they were going to be in there regardless. Guys wanted to make the point where they were playing all game. That really wasn’t by plan. Normally they wouldn’t be in there, with the first nickel group it would be Trevor Scott and and Kamerion Wimbley, but once we took the starters, so to speak, and started to play the second units, they’re part of that second unit, therefore they had to play a little bit.”