Raiders Show Flashes, Settle Into Reality

Oakland came out firing on the first drive of tonight's preseason game against the 49ers. Jason Campbell was able to connect with Marcel Reese on a 49-yard strike down the sideline. Darrius Heyward-Bey was thrown at four times, and made three beautiful catches.

As the game progressed, the Raider offensive line confirmed the validity of the wide-spread belief that the unit could be the Achilles heel of the team for the highly anticipated upcoming season.

Mario Henderson looked overmatched most of the night and ultimately was beaten so badly that it allowed starting quarterback Jason Campbell to sustain a neck injury early in the second quarter.

Bruce Gradkowski came in for Campbell and picked up right where he left off, throwing a beautiful touchdown pass to Louis Murphy that may have solidified his push to beat out Kyle Boller and be the team's second-string quarterback.

Jared Velheer did a nice job during his audition to be the starting center in Nashville on opening day, but that was the lone bright spot for the Raider offensive line that failed to ever get the first-team running game established.

The organization has to be concerned with the level of performance from the left tackle position. Hopefully, Campbell's injury wasn't serious, and he will be ready to go in Week 1 against the Tennessee Titans.

Also of particular concern is the fact that Rolando McClain continues to look out of position constantly and has shown considerable difficulty shedding blocks. The rookie has shown flashes of being capable of handling the responsibility of playing quarterback for the defense, but not nearly enough early production to warrant his draft position.

While McClain will most likely settle in and be fine, the Raiders run defense looks to be almost as porous as last year's. Now that Raider scapegoat Kirk Morrison has been traded to Jacksonville, McClain had better make...

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