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Oakland Raiders 2014 Training Camp Preview
By John McMullen, NFL Editor
REPORT DATE: July 24
SITE: Napa Valley Marriott, Napa, CA
CAMP CONFIDENTIAL: Perhaps no team upgraded its overall talent level more than the Raiders in the offseason.
General manger Reggie McKenzie had a ton of money to spend and he brought in a host of veterans who figure to help, headlined by quarterback Matt Schaub, running back Maurice Jones-Drew, wide receiver James Jones and O- linemen Austin Howard and Kevin Boothe on offense, and defensive linemen Justin Tuck, Antonio Smith and Lamarr Woodley as well as cornerback Carlos Rogers on defense.
Add potential rookie linebacking star Khalil Mack to that mix and you can see Oakland is among the most-improved teams in football, at least on paper.
KEY OFFENSIVE ACQUISITION: The wheels came off on Schaub during his final season in Houston and it's conceivable the 33-year-old QB's days as a productive starter at this level are over.
The Raiders are obviously hoping that last season was the anomaly and that Schaub will return to being the 4,000-yard passer he was in 2012 when the Texans were making a postseason run.
"I think every man on the team is counting on him being the guy," veteran safety Charles Woodson told Sirius XM NFL Radio when discussing Schaub. "You know, you bring him over from Houston, and it's been duly noted about the struggles that he had last year. But you can't discount the year that he had before last year so we're looking at last year as being an anomaly and that not being the true Matt Schaub."
KEY DEFENSIVE ACQUISITION: Tuck is no longer one of the best defensive lineman in football but the two-time All-Pro knows how to play the game and how to win.
He's the headliner on a completed revamped defensive line which could see four new veteran starters (Tuck, Woodley, Smith and former Cincinnati nose tackle Pat Sims).
PRESEASON SCHEDULE (All Times Eastern):
Aug 8 - at Minnesota, 8:00 PM Aug 15 - vs. Detroit, 10:00 PM Aug 22 - at Green Bay, 8:00 PM Aug 28 - vs. Seattle, 10:00 PM
07/17 15:51:15 ET