Raiders And 49ers – What To Watch For

With the NFL OTA’s in full swing and the training camps scheduled to take place in a little over a month, they’re are several things that we should watch for regarding our Bay Area football teams.

San Francisco49ers: The San Francisco 49ers that finished their season one game shy of reaching the Super Bowl. They brought back their entire starting defense, which was the strength of their team. They also managed kiss and make up with starting QB Alex Smith; after committing professional infidelity by secretly courting Peyton Manning. Mind you this is after Smith helped the team go 13-3 in the regular season. The 49ers made some nice free agent additions in the off-season to compliment their already talented roster. They signed running back Brandon Jacobs as their short yardage runner to compliment Frank Gore. They also upgraded the hell out of their WR position by signing former New York Giants receiver Mario Manningham and future Hall of Famer Randy Moss.

At this point the 49ers are loaded across the board. They have their starters in place; and have added good depth through free agency and the draft. They should be able to pick up right where they left off from the 2011-2012 season. Obviously, just as last year, a large part of the 49ers success will be dependent upon Alex Smith being able to duplicate his performance. Smith has proven that he can be an good game manager and even make a few plays here and there to win close games. However, the 49ers O-line must protect their passer, as they have no real proven depth behind him.

 

OaklandRaiders: The Raiders ended their once promising season on a low note by dropping their final game to the San Diego Chargers. What makes it so bad is they lost a game, which would have given them their first playoff birth in a decade, in front of their home crowd. However, in my opinion the Raiders are a far more interesting story between the two teams. Only because the 49res are loaded with talent and frankly; they’re expected to do well. Based upon the run they had last year, plus the talent they have acquired this year, their team, fans and many casual spectators expect to see a deep playoff run.

 

However, the Raiders are entering their first season without the man who has been the face of the franchise for the last 49 years. AL Davis. The Raiders are literally a team in transition. They have a new owner in Mark Davis, a new Head Coach in Dennis Allen and a new General Manager in Reggie Mckenzie. They also have a new Defensive Coordinator in Jason Tarver, who will be implementing a new defensive philosophy for the team. The Raiders lost several key starters (Jason Campbell, Stanford Routt, Chris Johnson, Kamerion Wimberly, Kevin Boss, Samson Satele) from last year and you can even throw in Michael Bush; since he did technically start more game than McFadden. However, the Raiders did add veteran DB’s Shawntae Spencer and Ron Bartell to help replenish some of their losses.

 

They brought in QB Matt Leinart to backup Carson Palmer and brought in RB Mike Goodson, to try to fill the huge footprint left by Michael Bush. They also brought in former Texan Mike Brisiel to play RG on their offensive line. They Raiders only had 5 picks in this years draft and didn’t make their first selection until the end of the 3rd round. With so much turnover, change and transition, it’s difficult to say how the Raiders will stack up against the improved competition in the AFC West. Although, I anticipate for their offense to be the stronger side of the ball, it will be interesting to see how defensive gurus Allen and Tarver will get the most out of their mixed pieces.

avatar About Brian Mims

Brian Mims is an the Executive Writer for Brickhouse Talk. He is well known for his straight forward perspective on sports and all it's aspects. An avid sport fan himself, Brian is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the sports world.

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