|Raiders have many questions as they break camp|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 13 August 2008 12:35|
The Raiders packed up to leave their summer home in Napa after three weeks and will be back at their regular facility near Oakland once they return from Friday night's exhibition game in Tennessee.
``I don't know if we're very good but I think we'll find a lot out in the first half this week,'' coach Lane Kiffin said. ``This is a big physical team that can rush the passer, can stop the run and can run the heck out of the ball. It's the perfect team for us to be playing in my opinion.''
The Raiders did well in their first exhibition game, running for 248 yards and playing turnover-free football in an 18-6 victory over San Francisco on Friday.
While the running game was sharp and the offense efficient, Kiffin asked for very little from quarterback JaMarcus Russell. Russell, who started only one game as a rookie, threw just five passes in two drives against the 49ers. He is expected to play the entire first half Friday and will be asked to throw much more often.
That will give the Raiders the opportunity to see if the lessons he's learned during all his hard work in the offseason will translate to the field.
``He's doing things right in practice,'' Kiffin said. ``The next two games will be a big test for him to see where he's at. All the stuff out here he's taken care of, now let's see if he can carry it over into the game.''
The most immediate question for the Raiders surrounds the health of their two talented starting cornerbacks. Nnamdi Asomugha injured his right foot on Tuesday but returned to practice Wednesday, although he was not able to break on balls as well as he usually does.
DeAngelo Hall still has a cast on his injured right hand and the Raiders are planning to have a third doctor examine the MRI and X-rays to determine if there is a break. Hall told the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday that the hand was broken, but Kiffin said tests so far have only found a bruise with a possible sprain. Hall might not play against the Titans because of the injury.
``I know something still hurts, though,'' Hall said. ``We're just going to try to get down to the bottom of it. I still can't touch anything. I can't put my hand down. Still very painful. My main thing is even if it's broken, it doesn't mean anything. If I can go out there and play then I can go out there and play. If something hurts, something hurts.''
With backup cornerback John Bowie sidelined by a knee injury and Michael Waddell limited by a sore back, the Raiders are thin at cornerback with Stanford Routt, Chris Johnson, Darrick Brown and newly signed Nick Sanchez the only healthy ones.
``We don't have much depth,'' Asomugha said. ``It's very evident, you can see that. So it's definitely something that we've got to push through right now. If we had more depth we'd be able to take a little more time off and let stuff heal but it's training camp. We don't have many other bodies so we've kind of got to play through everything right now.''
The Raiders are also dealing with injuries to both of their kickers. Sebastian Janikowski hurt his left hamstring last week and will miss his second straight exhibition game. Punter Shane Lechler has an injured quadriceps and will be out at least a week, forcing Oakland to find a punter for Friday night's game.
Kiffin said the team would have a punter in for a tryout later Wednesday but wasn't sure who it would be. Oakland already signed kicker Aaron Elling last week to fill in for Janikowski.