Raiders have more questions than answers

There are still far more questions than answers but with only three days left before the Oakland Raiders open their preseason schedule, head coach Art Shell is eager to see what his team has on the table.

''It's a good opportunity to see where you're at, see where the guys are as far as playing is concerned,'' Shell said Thursday. ''(And) see if we're where we need to be at this point and time in training camp. We'll find out enough about that after we watch the tape and see where our guys are and what we need to continue to work on.

''I'm looking forward to the opportunity and our guys are, too.''

Exactly who will be going to Canton to play the Philadelphia Eagles in the Hall of Fame Game on Sunday remains to be seen. The Raiders' list of injured players is lengthy, and a virus of some sort continues to make its way through the team. Backup quarterback Reggie Robertson was the latest to fall ill, bringing to five the number of players who have had to miss practice because of the sickness.

Meanwhile, Shell refused to tip his hand as to what he plans on doing at quarterback. Aaron Brooks will start against the Eagles but isn't likely to even play a full quarter, with backups Andrew Walter and Marques Tuiasosopo splitting the remaining snaps. Though Shell has said he intends to hold off making a decision on who the starting quarterback in the regular season will be, all indications are that it will be Brooks.

Brooks, himself, doesn't seem too concerned about it.

''Nah, man, I don't have anything to prove,'' Brooks said. ''I'm an established veteran quarterback. This will be my eighth season. I did some wonderful things down in New Orleans (but) I'm here just just to get back in the groove and make this team be a better football team.''

Brooks started 82 consecutive games for the Saints before being benched for the final three games of the regular season. Nevertheless, Shell said he intends on evaluating the quarterback situation further before making a final decision.

''This guy going out with the first group doesn't mean that's where he's going to end up,'' Shell said. ''You have to have a starting point. This is where we're at on the depth chart. We've got five games to play in the preseason, and to make a final determination as to who's going to be starting, right now that's not smart.

''I want to see (Brooks) step forward with the receivers we have and be totally comfortable with the system that we have so that he can get in and out of huddles with good tempo, know exactly where he's going with the ball and where his protection scheme is going to protect him ... I think he's doing well.''

* Safety Stuart Schweigert returned to practice after missing three days with a groin injury. Schweigert moved around well and showed no lingering effects from the injury, but Shell was uncertain if he would make the trip to Canton.

* Long-snapper Adam Treu also returned to practice but was limited to individual drills. Shell indicated that rookie Chris Morris would handle the long-snapping chores if Treu is held out.


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