OAKLAND – The Raiders didn't run a standard NFL dress rehearsal Friday during their third preseason game.
Fans hoping to see offensive stars shouldn't have blinked. Head coach Jon Gruden pulled quarterback Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson, and running back Marshawn Lynch after one series against the Green Bay Packers. The rest of the regular offense didn't last much longer.
Select defenders played through the first half, but not everybody. The Green Bay Packers pulled punches, sitting quarterback Aaron Rodgers among a host of others.
The Raiders won 13-6 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, by the way. Not that it matters in the slightest.
Gruden isn't giving much away this preseason, surely leaving some tricks up his sleeve for when games actually count.
There isn't much tape of Carr working Gruden's offense, which is very likely by design.
Regulars will play even less, most not at all, next week in the preseason finale against Seattle.
The Raiders are largely healthy and Gruden wants to keep it that way, showing how little these exhibitions mean in the grand scheme. That's especially true for a Raiders team with precious few roster spots that are truly open. Most guys have roles already defined, leaving little to decide in game action.
Gruden gave more extensive work to those hurt this preseason, including Gareon Conley and Marcus Gilchrist. Marquel Lee, Rashaan Melvin, Mario Edwards Jr. and Erik Harris also got extended snaps.
With little to assess regarding the Raiders offense or defense as a whole, there were a few takeaways from this one.
Let's list them…
-- The Raiders have a backup quarterback problem. Connor Cook and EJ Manuel were awful for a second straight week, and it's entirely possible Derek Carr's reserve isn't on the roster right now.
Cook struggled with accuracy. Again. EJ Manuel struggled with ball security. Again.
-- Gruden and co. will have some tough decisions on the defensive line, because they might have too many good ones. Young pass rushers showed well yet again, with Fadol Brown, Arden Key, Shilique Calhoun and Maurice Hurst standing out in a positive way. As a note, Bruce Irvin was not at Friday's game due to an excused absence.
The Raiders generated heat anyway, a positive sign for a team that has struggled with sacks in recent seasons.
-- It sure seems like the cornerback lineup isn't set just yet, with Daryl Worley, Rashaan Melvin and Gareon Conley rotating in different pairs on the outside.
-- The Raiders offensive line needs some work on the flanks, with right tackle Donald Penn having a rough start in his first start as a right tackle Kolton Miller wasn't much better on the left, making it even smarter to get Carr out of there quickly.