After the sounding of tonight’s final preseason whistle in Seattle, a mere 11 days remain before the Raiders take the Monday night gridiron against the rival San Diego Chargers.
But before the regular season kicks off, there is still an exhibition game — albeit an important one — to play.
In their fourth and final preseason contest today, the Raiders face the Seattle Seahawks and their rookie starting quarterback, Russell Wilson. But the Raiders’ likewise rookie coach will be looking for more than his second August win.
“There are still a lot of decisions to be made as far as who is on the 53-man roster,” Dennis Allen said, referring to the 22 players he’ll have to release Friday. “These guys are all playing, not only to make our roster, but they’re playing to make 31 other teams, too. It’s a big game for a lot of people.”
But in shaping a roster, the Raiders will also look to sharpen for the opener.
“I hope I get to play,” Raiders starting quarterback Carson Palmer said. “But that’s not our job as players, that’s what the coaches do and we’ll be ready for whatever we are told to play.”
But in a preseason where starting wideouts Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore, defensive tackle Richard Seymour and kicker Sebastian Janikowski have all suffered physical setbacks, Allen has reason to be weary.
“All of us only have so many shots in our body,” he said. “So you don’t want to use them all up in the preseason and yet you have to do enough work that you get better. ”
Two players who have seemingly had positive evaluations thus far have been receivers Rod Streater and Juron Criner. But no matter who plays tonight, Oakland defensive coordinator Jason Tarver likes the Seahawks’ challenge.
“Seattle’s run game is very similar to our run game here, where they want to stretch you apart and cut it up the field,” Tarver said.
The game can be likened to a final audition for those on the cusp. And if the recent signing of receiver Roscoe Parrish proves anything, it’s that Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie will look beyond their current roster for talent.
“We’re going to look at anybody that comes available,” Allen said.
NOTE: The Raiders claimed defensive back Coye Francies off waivers Wednesday. Francies, who played in eight games with the Cleveland Browns from 2009-10, was released by the Seahawks on