The silver and black uniforms were familiar Thursday night, as was Jason Campbell starting at quarterback and the tailgating fans outside the O.co Coliseum before the game.
But not everything familiar is fine.
So when head coach Hue Jackson saw penalty flags flying through the air during Oakland’s 24-18 exhibition loss to Arizona, he was concerned.
The Raiders were the most penalized team in the NFL in 2010, averaging 9.2 penalties per game for a league-leading 79.8 yards per game. Thursday, they committed 10 penalties for 84 yards.
Same old thing? Jackson hopes not.
Players said Jackson focused on the issue Saturday in the team’s first practice since Thursday night’s game.
“Obviously, this is a team-wide problem,” Jackson told Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times.
Offensive tackle Khalif Barnes was flagged three times against Arizona. Cornerback Walter McFadden and tight end Kevin Brock were penalized twice. Barnes had three false starts, one of which cost the Raiders a shot at a field goal. Last year, in fact, Oakland led the NFL with 31 false starts.
“We’ve got a couple of culprits,” said Jackson, who didn't single anyone out by name. He did note that Barnes did not commit any penalties in Saturday’s practice.
“Oh, yeah, he got on us today about it,” cornerback Stranford Routt told Corkran. “We had a couple of penalties at practice today. He definitely told us that we definitely got to cut down on them because that’s how you lose football games real quick.”
Penalties have been a familiar part of Raiders football for several years, however. Oakland has ranked among the top five most-penalized teams every season since 2005.