Going into their first preseason game Thursday night, the Raiders and their fans have some questions they want answered.
Will wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who just reported, start to assert himself? Will rookie wideout Denarius Moore look as good against the Cardinals as he does against his own DBs in practice? Will new cornerback Chris Johnson start to settle in as a replacement for the departed Nnamdi Asomugha? How will new tight end Kevin Boss look in silver-and-black? And how will all the moving parts in the offensive line shake out?
The release of the team’s unofficial depth chart Tuesday sets the stage for all the position battles to come this preseason, beginning with Thursday’s matchup vs. Arizona in Oakland.
But one starting spot that is a question mark no more is quarterback, where Jason Campbell is now entrenched. The only thing to be decided is the backup job: Kyle Boller or Trent Edwards?
When head coach Hue Jackson was asked which jobs are set, he told the San Francisco Chronicle, “Oh gosh, I know one. I know the quarterback is.”
Now in his second season in Oakland, Campbell finally has the luxury of knowing the system after seasons of turmoil in Washington and the move to Oakland.
New Raiders offensive tackle Stephon Heyer, who played with Campbell with the Redskins, told the Bay Area News Group he sees a different Jason Campbell now.
“His pocket presence, his huddle presence, is definitely better than it used to be,” Heyer says. “It looks like he’s more of a leader. He’s more comfortable. I can see that now more than ever.”
During the lockout, Campbell took charge of the offense in team workouts and was able to study the playbook, which has new wrinkles put in by offensive coordinator Al Saunders.
“I think everybody’s been impressed by Jason,” Saunders told reporters. “He’s had an outstanding camp."