Recently, we sat down and chatted with Levi Damien, managing editor of Silver and Black Pride, for some insight into what to expect from the Oakland Raiders in tonight's contest versus the Chicago Bears. Big thanks to Levi for his time!
WCG: Al Davis was an old school football guy, and despite criticisms, ran his club HIS way. He was a pioneer for pro football. How has the culture changed since his passing?
Levi: Al Davis had several tenets that he was known for. He loved overdrafting speed, man-cover corners, and spending any amount of money on the players he thought were worth getting or keeping. He didn't pay much mind to a player's character as long as he thought they could play.
The new regime puts a high priority on character, thinks talent trumps speed, runs a more zone style defense, and will pass up on any player if they want more than they're willing or able to pay. They also won't mortgage the future for the sake of going all in each season.
WCG: What are the biggest strengths and weaknesses on the offensive side of the ball for 2013?
Levi: Strengths on offense... wow... um, Marcel Reece? Weaknesses on offense, probably just about everything else. But the passing game could manage to surprise with Matt Flynn, Denarius Moore, Rod Streater, and Jacoby Ford if he can stay on the field.
WCG: What about on defense?
Levi: Strengths on defense will be the secondary and the linebackers. Both groups are very deep and have some potential to play very well. Weakness on defense is the defensive line. About the only really good player on the defensive line is Lamarr Houston and he can't do it by himself. He just might have to.
WCG: Who are some under-the-radar players that we might not know about that could make a significant splash this season?
Levi: Second year undrafted wide receiver Rod Streater became a starter late last season and looks to emerge as the Raiders' top target. A young hopeful to watch for would be round 6 WR Brice Butler. He has earned some time with the first team and if given a chance, he could make some plays.
WCG: What is your overall outlook on the Raiders 2013 season, and how far away are they from being a legitimate threat in the AFC?
Levi: Overall outlook not good. Legitimate threat not soon.
For the Silver and Black Pride version of Five Questions, click HERE.
Big thanks to Levi for taking the time to sit down with us!
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