OAKLAND RAIDERS (3-13)
OPEN CAMP: July 31, Napa, California.
LAST YEAR: Raiders went through two coaches and won just three games in 12th straight season without winning record or playoff berth. Dennis Allen was fired after team lost first four games and interim coach Tony Sparano lost his first six in charge before Raiders finally won. Bright spots from talented rookie class included Derek Carr, perhaps finally quarterback to end Oakland's revolving door at position since Rich Gannon left. LB Khalil Mack was one of NFL's top rookies and has makings of being a star.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: Coach Jack Del Rio; WRs Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree; C Rodney Hudson; S Nate Allen; LBs Curtis Lofton and Malcolm Smith; DT Dan Williams; RBs Trent Richardson and Roy Helu Jr.; TEs Clive Walford and Lee Smith.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: WR James Jones; RBs Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew; C Stefen Wisniewski; CBs Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers; DTs Antonio Smith and Pat Sims; LB Miles Burris; S Tyvon Branch.
CAMP NEEDS: Biggest holes to fill are on right side of offensive line and at cornerback. After disappointing debut season in Oakland at right guard, Austin Howard is moving back to natural right tackle position to compete for starting job with 2013 second-round pick Menelik Watson. That leaves utility lineman Khalif Barnes, Matt McCants, J'Marcus Webb and rookie Jon Feliciano to battle at guard. DJ Hayden, team's top pick in 2013, is competing for starting cornerback role with pair of second-year players, TJ Carrie and Keith McGill. Trio has just 15 career starts.
EXPECTATIONS: Raiders enter what could be final season in Oakland with another new coach. Del Rio is team's ninth since 2003 and has brought enthusiasm and proven staff headed by defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave. Raiders hope simpler defense and faster-paced offense will suit roster better and help lead to needed improvement. Oakland has 11-37 record in three seasons under GM Reggie McKenzie, but team hopes to have some building blocks in last year's top two draft picks, Mack and Carr. Carr has many more options this year with additions of Cooper and Crabtree, while Mack looks to become feared pass rusher. But cloud over entire season will be team's future: Raiders are playing on one-year lease in Oakland and have expressed interest in moving to Los Angeles area without plans for new stadium in Bay Area.
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