Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Know thy enemy!
The Oakland Raiders are looking to salvage some respectability in 2012, and build momentum into 2013. I had the chance to ask Levi Damien of 'Silver and Black Pride' five questions about the Raiders, and give us a glimpse into their organization.
Cat Scratch Reader -- Carson Palmer is playing good football, but what's the long-term feeling on the QB position? At one point I know there was some hope Terrelle Pryor could develop, do you have any faith he can be the QB of the future in Oakland?
Silver and Black Pride -- There is a feeling of uncertainty in the long term with regard to Carson Palmer. He has put up gaudy numbers this season but the results have not shown up in the win column. Some would like to blame that on the team around him but there is blame to go around. Palmer has yet to prove he can rise above and lead this team to victory even when other facets of the team are not functioning well. Teams don't pay their quarterbacks the kind of money Palmer makes to "manage" the game. I don't think the team has a lot of faith in Terrelle Pryor as the future either. I say they roll with Palmer until there is a good QB class in the draft and grab his replacement.
SBP -- Goodson is the real deal in the zone scheme. He is averaging 6.7 yards per carry this season in limited duty. It was one of those trades in which each team had players they weren't using that would be better utilized on the other team. I haven't paid much attention to how Bruce Campbell is doing in Carolina but he was inactive nearly all of last season so the Raiders were glad to get a player they could use out of the deal.
CSR --As an outsider looking in: What's your perception of the Carolina Panthers' organization?
SBP -- They are a team in flux. I wasn't a fan of Cam Newton coming out of college and he is proving me right this season with his lackluster play on the field and his attitude off of it. I don't think they will ever win with him. At least until he grows up. If that ever happens. There are some good players on the team otherwise. Two great running backs in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart for starters.
CSR -- Who is one player on offense, and one player on defense Panthers' fans may not know -- but who they should fear on Sunday?
SBP -- On offense, Rod Streater is the Raiders best receiver right now. He has led the team in receiving the past three games as an undrafted rookie. He was part of the reason the team felt comfortable dealing Louis Murphy to the Panthers this offseason. He is proving them right for making that move.
On defense it's Lamarr Houston. He has been on beast mode much of this season and will give the Panthers right tackle all he can handle. His passion and energy are invaluable to this Raiders defense and if his teammates can feed off of it, they can play well.
CSR -- Darren McFadden has struggled this season. Where does the blame lie: On McFadden, or the offensive line?
SBP -- It is a little bit of both but mostly McFadden. The line took a bit of time to acclimate to the zone blocking scheme this season so it was a rough start, but McFadden is just not a good fit for the scheme. He had 110 yards rushing last week but most of those yards came when he bounced it outside. In the zone, backs must find the creases inside. Mike Goodson does this well as does Marcel Reece. McFadden does not. He leads the carries totals 2-1 over Goodson and yet Goodson has nearly twice the yards per carry average.