First and Ten

A look ahead to the Oakland Raiders 2003 season with random thoughts.


You've probably been nauseated by prediction stories from the various preseason magazines written in June.

            I will not claim that I picked the Oakland Raiders to meet the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXVIII only to rescind that pick now that Michael Vick will miss the first month of the season. Instead, we'll use the holiday to forecast what will happen within the Oakland Raiders:


1)      Despite an, at times, dreadful preseason in which the Raiders went 1-3, expect the exhibition campaign not to carry into the regular season. Bottom line: the AFC lacks a truly overwhelming team so Oakland will be in the mix as long as age and injury do not become a factor.

2)      RB Charlie Garner has the ability to join Marshall Faulk and Roger Craig in the 1,000-1,000 club but will not get there because the Raiders will not throw much less than last season.

3)      Rookie RB Justin Fargas will definitely contribute on special teams but the Raiders will discover that he is too good not to play occasionally in the backfield.

4)      Despite the talk of WR Jerry Porter becoming the go-to guy, Jerry Rice (just a month shy of his 41st birthday) will lead Oakland in receiving.

5)      TE Teyo Johnson was looked at as a project but look for Oakland to find ways to incorporate both he and starter Doug Jolley at the same time.

6)      Now that the speculation of keeping C Barret Robbins is over, look for Robbins to become the starter once he recovers sufficiently from his knee injury.

7)      LBs Napoleon Harris (second year) and Eric Barton (fifth year) will build on last season's success and perform even better in 2003.

8)      CB Charles Woodson will stay healthy, have the best season of his career – and then price himself out of Oakland.

9)      KR Ronney Jenkins will consistently provide good field position and return at least one kickoff for a touchdown.

10)  Expect to hear throughout the season that 2003 is the Raiders last chance to win the Super Bowl before they become eight-zillion dollars over the salary cap.


Vince D'Adamo can be reached via e-mail at

SB Report Top Stories