Welcome back as we begin the 2022 season of Ballers & Busters. There was a lot of good and some not so good in the Raiders lopsided win over the Jacksonville Jaguars second and third Thursday night.
Pre-season football is all about making an impression in the pads players hope to move into in training camp.
Here are a few guys who did it.
G Lester Cotton Sr
I was skeptical about Cotton this off season as he was interfering with injured Denzel Judd’s right guard. After all, Cotton made only five appearances in his career and spent most of his career and was relegated to the coaching staff. It just seemed like a placeholder until Good came back from injury.
Then he retired well, and Cotton stayed, and then he went out in this game and made me a believer. Cotton laid a key stone in the game’s second play, helping Josh Jacobs hit 12 yards. He put the raiders in range and went up 3-0 to start the match.
Cotton followed that with blocks on Jacobs’ nine-yard track, Jacobs ran from four yards for third and one, and Zamir White 15 yards, leading to another field goal.
The last play of the first quarter, Cotton entered down to snag an 18-yard play on screen for Amir Abdullah. This engine will eventually lead to Raiders’ first landing. On the next drive, he was dropping again on a screen that stretched out 19 yards. Beautiful days working for cotton.
RB Zamir White
Josh Jacobs got his first two batches of the game and played really well. Then Wyatt came along and showed why he’s a serious contender to eat into Jacobs’ shots and deliver some juice to offense this season.
White’s first round in the game, he showed some nice lunges and blasted off for 15 yards. He later demonstrated his abilities as a receiver when he passed the screen for 19 yards. He then showed his strength, when he came off the field on the left in third and one and drove through one of the defenders to capture the first. White even showed he was able to intervene when he stopped when the kick came back.
DT Kendall Vickers, Ed Malcolm Consci
Vickers made his first tackle in the game, jogging stuffing. He had the only sack by the game changers.
Koonce helped set him up by pressing him to smash the pocket. While Konsi may not have had a cyst, he did get some good pressure on occasion. He also hit a pass on the goal line.
QB Jarrett Stidham, WR Demarcus Robinson
His first pass in the game was miraculously 31 yards off Keelan Cole. This is despite being hit while throwing.
After Nick Mullins came on a double trip, Stedham came back late in the second quarter, completing a 14-yard pass to Tyrone Johnson in third and an 11 and a 16-yard pass to DeMarcus Robinson. On the next play, he sprinted to the right, directed traffic—he got a block in the end zone from Robinson—and ran it down to give the Raiders a 20-0 lead in the half.
S Terry Gillespie
The second-year reserve safety put Wood on a few plays, including one where he put his helmet on the ball to get it out of the receiver’s hands to force confusion. Raiders’ only takeaway was.
CB Bryce Cosby
The best shot of a novice who is not determined to make this team is by making his own teams. His first game in this game was to interfere when the kick came back. Then in the third quarter, he was part of three straight plays—he came in to help run things for one yard, did a short tackle, and broke a pass in third to force a kick.
T Brandon Parker
It’s a miracle that the Raiders’ attack was able to do anything in this game with Parker on the left footing. Saying that he was out of his depth doesn’t completely cover it up. He was just spent working on almost every play in the game.
In the first play, he gave up the blow on Stedham when he threw. The ball was completed anyway with a rough penalty kick on the fairway. If not, Parker’s loss to his group after the pair later played in an on-court game resulted in a kick instead of a field goal.
The second drive stopped thanks to Parker and Parker alone. They moved to the Jacksonville 22-yard line. Parker then dropped back-to-back sacks, the second time for former teammate Arden Key who may remember his destruction at the junior camp in 2018. The result was that Daniel Carlson had to attempt a 55-yard field goal that converted him.
The second quarter will start just as it did in the first – with Parker taking a beating, this time for running things. Finally, in his last play at the end of the next inning, Parker will give up another sack; His third match.
This is the man who is currently presumed to be the leading candidate to begin the correct treatment. He was playing off-center on the left-hand intervention, but you’d hope he’s at least serviceable on the other side, not the saloon door.
RB Kenyan Drake
It is increasingly clear that the raiders intend to turn back the commission. And in that fight, Drake didn’t show himself very well. While Josh Jacobs and Zamir White averaged over five yards per carry, and Amir Abdullah showed up well on screen game, Drake averaged just 1.8 yards per carry on five campaigns.