2001 NFL Football Preview

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Oakland Raiders

Silver & Black looking to build on shortcoming

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Posted: Friday July 20, 2001 11:42 AM

  • 2001 schedule
  • Head coach: Jon Gruden (fourth season, 28-20-0 career)
  • Stadium: Network Associates Coliseum
  • Raiders all-time record: 381-256-11
  • 2000 rankings: Offense, 6th; Defense, 17th
  • 2000 team statistics
  • 2000 season results
  • Raiders alerts from CNNSI.com!
  • City Page: Oakland, Calif. 

    Oakland opens its training camp at the Napa Valley Marriott in Napa, Calif. on July 21.

    By Jon A. Dolezar, CNNSI.com

    The Raiders' commitment to excellence hasn't waned since losing to eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore in the AFC Championship Game. Neither has its love affair with the vertical passing game; adding future Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice proves that. Oakland is thinking Super Bowl again despite playing in what could be the toughest division in football.

    The Raiders can make the playoffs if ... Jon Gruden stares Oakland's opponents into submission. Is there anything more intimidating than "Chucky" looking across the gridiron under that low-pulled silver and black cap? The Raiders are the favorite in the division since they hold the crown, but the Broncos, Seahawks and Chargers are all much improved and Denver should give Oakland a serious run for its money.

    Pivotal games: Oct. 14 at Indianapolis; Dec. 30 at Denver. The scoreboard lights at the RCA Dome should get a good workout when the Raiders come calling on the Colts on Sunday night in Week 6, as Oakland and Indianapolis combined for 56.7 point per game last season. The season finale at the Broncos may be for the division title or possibly even for home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

    On the hot seat: Trace Armstrong came up with a career year for Miami last season at age 35 with 16.5 sacks in a part-time, pass-rush specialist role. Oakland inked Armstrong to a 6-year, $18.6 million deal in the hopes of boosting its sack total from 43.

    Up-and-coming: Third-year offensive tackles Matt Stinchcomb and Barry Sims split time last season, with Stinchcomb starting nine games and allowing only three sacks and Sims starting seven games and allowing three sacks. The Raiders also averaged 4.4 yards per carry on runs to the left side of the line while running behind the Stinchcomb/Sims combination.

    Sports Illustrated's season preview will post Aug. 29.

  • AFC West Previews: Broncos | Chiefs | Raiders | Chargers | Seahawks

    Oakland Offseason Movement
    Signings  Departures 
    Trace Armstrong, DE  Zack Crockett, FB 
    Reggie Barlow, WR  Rickey Dudley, TE 
    David Dunn, WR  Darrien Gordon, CB 
    Charlie Garner, RB  Lance Johnstone, DE 
    James Jett, WR  Napoleon Kaufman, RB 
    Terry Kirby, RB    
    Ramos McDonald, CB    
    Frank Middleton, G    
    Toby Myles, LT    
    Ryan Phillips, LB    
    Marquez Pope, SS    
    Shar Pourdanesh, LT    
    Jerry Rice, WR    
    William Thomas, LB    
    Regan Upshaw, DE    
    Roland Williams, TE    

    Raiders' 2001 Draft Picks
    Round  Overall Pick  Player  Pos.  School 
    28  Derrick Gibson  Florida St. 
    59  Marques Tuiasosopo  QB  Washington 
    89  DeLawrence Grant  DE  Oregon St. 
    158  Raymond Perryman  Northern Arizona 
    184  Chris Cooper  DE  Nebraska-Omaha 
    228  Derek Combs  HB  Ohio St. 
    229  Ken-Yon Rambo  WR  Ohio St. 

    Related information
    Dr. Z's NFL Power Rankings
    The NFL in '01: Ten faces in new places
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