Three-and-out: Oakland Raiders' camp questions
August 2, 2012INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
Now it's time to tee up the Oakland Raiders' issues:
- Can multi-dimensional RB Darren McFadden stay 100% healthy or at least remain above 75%? He's the team's most explosive player and was leading the NFL in rushing through six weeks last year before suffering a season-ending Lisfranc (foot) injury. When he's on the field, McFadden's a gamebreaker. When he's not -- and he's missed 19 games in his four-year career -- the offense suffers, and that could be magnified now that backup RB Michael Bushhas moved on to the Chicago Bears.
- QB Carson Palmer hasn't been a Pro Bowler since 2006 and was spotty in 2011, though the deck was heavily stacked against him as he went from his couch to the Raiders lineup in a matter of days after the Cincinnati Bengals granted his trade wish last October. Palmer is now learning another playbook under new Offensive Coordinator Greg Knapp, and it remains to be seen how he'll adapt to some of the rollouts Knapp likes to employ. But as he enters his 10th season, Palmer should be a lot more effective -- questions about his arm strength didn't seem to be a major issue for Oakland -- assuming he and McFadden are finally in the lineup together along with promising but equally injury-plagued young WRs Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford.