Oakland Raider Preseason Week 3: Veterans with room to Improve.
Jimmy Hal – Aug 28, 2012
Week three of the preseason, the "dress rehearsal" of preseason games. This is the game when all cylinders should be running and engines are all fired up. It is a glimpse of what could be for the upcoming season.
For the Oakland Raiders, things looked promising but not quite there just yet. Here are some examples.
Carson Palmer QB: To be on this list three weeks in a row is not a good sign for the Oakland Raiders. The previous two preseason games showed Palmer make bad decisions and bad throws. That could be blamed on Palmer taking chances or testing the young receivers around him to guage what they are capable of.
It was not concerning before, but it is now.
In week three of the preseason is when you hope you're starting quarterback looks a bit more polished. Palmer just wasn't. To his credit, Palmer did also make some big plays, but they were overshadowed by his mistakes. Palmer threw two interceptions against the Lions, the second not being his fault. On the first interception however, Palmer tried to execute a screen pass that was clearly taken away by the Lion's defense. The second was an unfortunate drop by wide receiver Eddie McGee.
Even putting his interceptions aside, it was still hard to see if Palmer ever got into any kind of rhythm. You could make the case that Palmer's best throw was an underthrown pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey, in which Heyward-Bey made a great adjustment to the ball for a one handed catch for 44 yards.
Mike Brisiel RG: Mike Brisiel may be the biggest named free agent the Raiders acquired in the offseason, as the Raiders took a conservative approach to free agency. Brisiel may also have been the best offensive lineman throughout this preseason. Without a doubt Brisiel has been worth the coin spent on him not only as a player but as a mentor as well. Brisiel has clearly helped this young offensive line make the transition to the zone blocking system.
But in week three of the preseason, Brisiel may have wanted to stay focused on his own game. Brisiel had two very costly false start penalties in the first quarter. To add to his mental mistakes, Brisiel also was beaten physically a few times in goal line blocking. The Lions have a defensive line that is one of the best in the NFL, so struggles are to be expected. However, that is the kind of test you want your starters to pass. Brisiel did have his moments of victory, but there is nothing worse than mental mistakes and goal line softness.
Brandon Myers: Brandon Myers also had his struggles in week three. Though Myers struggles could be placed on the struggles of the tight end position in general. Myers in particular looked like a rusty player. He was battling injury, so week three was his moment to get some of that rust off. Hopefully he did so. Myers had an ugly drop in the second quarter which was followed by an even uglier double catch a play later.
Even when Myers managed to catch the ball cleanly, he looked shocked every time the ball was in his hands. Myers may be the starting tight end, but his career thus far can be summed up as average. He is a solid player, but nothing special. Hopefully Myers can rise to the occasion as a starter.
Sebastian Janikowski K: The one with the leg of gold seemed to have a leg of lead versus the Lions. Janikowski had a very bad miss of a feild goal within forty yards. It is preaseason for kickers too, but this miss is unexcusable for a kicker who kicked a record tying feild goal like it was nothing in 2011. It reminded you of early in his career when he was great for kicks over forty yards, yet anything below he was inconsistent. Luckily SeaBass has ironed out those wrinkles as the years have gone by.
Janikowski also pulled up lame with a groin injury when chasing the ball carrier on a kickoff return by the Lions. It is not serious according to head coach Dennis Allen, lets hope he is right. The Raiders special teams in general could use a lot of help as this preseason has not been great for that side of the ball.
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