Every week during the season, we like to visit with a blog from the opposition. There's no better way of knowing a little more about a team than going to the true fans of that team. Since it's the preseason for the team, we'll get in preseason mode at BTB and do our first run of 5 Questions with the enemy.
This Thursday, the Cowboys travel to Oakland to meet up with the Raiders. I asked the guys over at Silver and Black Pride some basic questions about their team and what we might see on Thursday.
Q&A after the jump.
Blogging The Boys: Give us the optimistic view for Raider Nation going into the 2009 season.
Silver And Black Pride: There are always the eternal optimists that see their team, no matter how bad they may be, as a candidate to go undefeated. So, in order to answer this question in the best way possible, I will answer for the typical optimist.
The optimistic view for 2009 looks long and hard at the offensive backfield (Russell, Neal, McFadden, Bush and Fargas) and improved offensive line (Satele, Barnes) and says that the Raiders can be the best running team in the AFC West and with a high turnover forcing defense they can choke off even the toughest of foe and finish the season 10-6 and in the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
BTB: Now, what does the pessimist say?
SABP: They will lean on recent history, not winning more than 5 games in a season since 2002, and predict more of the same. They also tend to believe that Al Davis died years ago and is the host body of evil aliens under direction from Mike Shanahan to ruin the franchise.
BTB: JaMarcus Russell? What's the latest?
SABP: Russell took a group of players for a private week of work-outs and has been stepping up as a leader, so far, in camp. The signing of [Jeff] Garcia seems to have lit a fire under him to step his game up. He played extremely well in his last two games last season, including leading an upset over Tampa which knocked them from a playoff spot, and I expect him to take his game to the next level in 2009. Anything else would be unacceptable and will lead to Garcia starting by Week 9.
BTB: Who are some guys that got something to prove in Thursday's game? Who will play a lot that we should watch out for?
SABP: The wide receiver corps is wide open. There are players like Louis Murphy, Chaz Schillens and Johnnie Lee Higgins that could beat out Javon Walker or DHB [Heyward-Bey] for a starting slot.
There is also a good battle going on at RDE where Jason Richardson, the incumbent, has been surpassed by Trevor Scott. Scott looks to be a pass rushing stud with the guts or stupidity to confront the run at only 255 pounds.
The third thing I will be watching for is the battle between Chris Johnson and Stanford Routt for the starting CB spot opposite Nnamdi Asomugha. They both have the ability, so whoever makes the most plays will win the job with the other being a nickel back.
BTB: What's the most important thing for Oakland to accomplish as a team in the game?
SABP: The most important thing for them to do is show continuity along both lines, look good against the run and most importantly, STAY HEALTHY!