The Oakland Raiders have plenty of new faces on both sides of the ball, and they brought in several players to start at key positions on the offensive side of the ball. Matt Schaub will start next season, Maurice Jones-Drew will form a tandem with Darren McFadden at RB, James Jones could be the team’s top receiver, and Austin Howard and Donald Penn were two significant signings on the offensive line.
Penn recently spoke to SiriusXM NFL Radio, and he stated that the Raiders plan on being a run-first team, “We’re gonna run the ball, run the ball, then run it again, until the defense stops us.”
The Raiders seem confident in Jones-Drew’s ability to bounce back after two disappointing seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and they will hope that a change of scenery and better blocking will help revitalize the former elite RB’s career. McFadden is also coming off of a couple of down seasons, so his key will be health and consistency. Rashad Jennings did a good job last year before signing with the New York Giants, and Dennis Allen will have to count on MJD if he wants his plan to run the ball heavily to work.
Schaub needs the support of a strong ground game after falling apart last season, and he certainly had a great running game while with the Houston Texans thanks to Arian Foster and Ben Tate. MJD and McFadden aren’t at that level, but they have enough raw talent to form a strong running game if they can bounce back and stay healthy.