Everyone knows NFL preseason games aren’t really competitive contests as much as live scrimmages with nothing on the line. The final score doesn’t matter as much as what happens during each individual possession.
Here’s a look at those individual winners and losers.
1. Rod Streater: Streater is competing for a job as an undrafted free agent, and he turned heads. We know he’ll have a successful career, because he had 6 catches for 66 yards at the half, and the Raiders are half-evil because some of our fans dress up in makeup and plastic tchotchkes.
2. Terelle Pryor & Al Davis: Pryor was the last player drafted by Davis, and he was the most interesting person to watch tonight.
Jon Gruden mentioned that seeing Pryor on the field was like watching Julius Peppers play quarterback, meaning that he is really big and fast. Pryor did a few interesting things with his feet, including converting a third down, but didn’t break off any huge runs.
He’s obviously a project, but he has a lot more potential than I thought after last year.
3. Marquette King: This guy will be punting for SOMEBODY this year, and if it weren’t for Shane Lechler, it would be the Raiders.
4. Darren McFadden: No surprises here. He’s an MVP when healthy.
5. All Of Us: Again, it was just a preseason game….but there weren’t many penalties. Maybe, just maybe, the grudge against Mr. Davis is over.
1. Jacoby Ford: Ford looked like a kick returner trying to play wide receiver. He didn’t seem to want to leave his feet, and did nothing to prevent a Carson Palmer interception during a long pass attempt.
This is a guy coming off a injury-riddled disappointment of a season, and I would’ve liked to have seen more effort and zing from him. I saw no zing.
2. Juron Criner: There is a lot of hype surrounding Criner, and I think it’s for good reason. But he dropped an easy ball during his rotation with the first team, and he should’ve had the type of game Rod Streater had.
Instead, he didn’t do much.
Again, it’s just preseason, and it’s August, for crying out loud.
The biggest takeaway for me was finding out that Pryor is still plenty green, but he does have a lot more potential and promise than previously advertised.
Broadcast hi-jinx: Gruden and Tirico were plenty cheeky about Gruden’s history with the team.
They also spent some time discussing Cowboys’ OL Coach Bill Callahan’s professional history.
Callahan was a first-year head coach when he rode the Raiders to the Super Bowl just one season after Gruden had coached the team to the AFC Championship game.
Gruden, then of the Tampa Bay Bucs, brutally outcoached Callahan in that Super Bowl, with members of the Bucs defense saying the audible signals were the same ones Gruden used when he was head coach there, which led to Rich Gannon throwing more picks in that game than he’d thrown all season.
As they wrapped up the little tribute, Gruden said something like, “Callahan really did a lot for my career.”
No kidding, Chuckie.
Missing man: Mike Goodson didn’t play in this game, and I’m assuming he’s still recovering from the brutal hit he took from Phillip Wheeler during a drill last week.
This is a big deal because just before the injury, Goodson was said to be impressing folks in camp and making a strong case for being Run-DMC’s backup, which we all know is a very important job.
Instead, Fresno State product Lonyae Miller ended up with 15 carries for 39 yards, and he also hauled down three passes for 23 yards.