Question: Hi, Jason, I'm a Raiders faithful fan for over 30 years, but I'm not particularly optimistic this season. I see quality backups being signed and better coaching, but not championship-level people. Better, yes. I think we basically took the best athlete at No. 1 in the draft, but the subtle elements of quarterbacking are three years away, i.e, reading complex defenses and looking off NFL-level defensive backs and linebackers. I also view the lack of youth and speed on the defensive line as a potential issue. Realistically, can this team win 6-8 games, or are we looking at another transitional staff and season?
Jim, Providence, R.I.
Answer: Nothing like returning from some time off and predicting how the Raiders will do with almost two months before training camp.
In all seriousness, it's not too early to review the offseason pickups and look ahead to camp.
The offseason pickups definitely lacked sizzle, but this year's free-agent crop wasn't deep. I doubt signing Cooper Carlisle to play right guard convinced anyone to buy season tickets. But the team needs bodies, even if they look like backups. The good teams in the NFL are good because they pick up players who don't look like a big deal but prove to be.
But the Raiders are a rebuilding project. There's no other way to describe a team with four consecutive losing seasons. Can the Raiders win six games? Yes. If the Raiders can score 20 points a game (and win an AFC West game or two), six wins would be a step in the right direction.
- Jason Jones