Raiders Hall of Famer Tim Brown, ESPN's Beth Mowins and former Raiders linebacker Matt Millen will handle TV announcing duties for Raiders preseason television.
Raiders TV play-by-play announcer Beth Mowins and color analysts Matt Millen and Hall of Fame wide receiver Tim Brown took the time to answer the same five questions each heading into Friday night's preseason opener between the Oakland Raiders and the St. Louis Rams.
Who are you most excited to see Friday night?
Beth Mowins**: I think I am most excited to see Latavius Murray. The worst rushing team in the league last year, they've got to have that run game, they've made all the moves to establish that. I think if they can run the ball this that opens up the playbook for all kinds of creative stuff they can do.
Tim Brown: I know we're not going to see much of [Amari] Cooper and [Derek] Carr and all those guys. It'll be interesting to see if they try to get a little connection going this early, or are they going wait until next week's second game. The kid from Florida State [defensive end Mario Edwards Jr], you definitely want to see what he as, this is a great opportunity for him to show that he belongs in this league, and he should get a lot of playing time. It'll be interesting to see how he plays.
Matt Millen: I want to see how far Derek has come in a year, and then I'd like to see what Hudson does in the middle and see if they have another pass rusher.
Which is the best position battle of Raiders training camp?
Beth Mowins**: I am going to go with the tight ends I think. And I am not even sure it's a battle because I think a lot of them can play. Lee Smith is listed as the starter and we haven't even seen him yet. Every guy brings a little something different. That's going to interesting to see what direction they go in.
Tim Brown: It sounds like to me, talking to Matt Millen, the offensive line is going to have some spots that are going to be up, still need a little help there too. You're always looking for a solid offensive line. I was always was really close to the offensive linemen because I knew I could run the best route in the world but if the quarterback was on his butt, it didn't matter. That's a position they have to solidify and make sure they're very comfortable going into this year.
Matt Millen: Probably in the secondary. Those are young kids that are back there. There a lot of things going on, the offensive line is pretty competitive right now which is good, the linebackers are defining themselves, but it's not as competitive, I think the DBs.
What's the most important aspect of training camp?
Beth Mowins**: With all the new faces around, [Head Coach] Jack [Del Rio] has talked about that cohesiveness, and how many reps they can get in and how comfortable they can get with one another, particularly on offensive side.
Tim Brown: It's all about just day-by-day. You gotta work. Every day you have to come out here and find a way. Everybody says 'to get better,' It's not about getting better, it's about getting the work in, getting your body prepared for what the season is about. You have to be out here every day, you have to get your body and mind ready for 'this is what I do, this is how I gotta do it.'
Matt Millen: Two things. Get through it healthy and learn. If they do those two things, if every guy gets through it healthy, if every guy gets out if it with better knowledge and understanding of their position, what makes them a better player, then it was a successful camp.
First impressions of the 2015 Oakland Raiders?
Beth Mowins**: The word that keeps popping up is hope. There's so much optimism, so much energy and enthusiasm, I think all these guys are hopeful this is going to be a better season, there's a lot of positive things that are coming their way.
Tim Brown: I believe this is going to be a much better team, a much improved team. Jack Del Rio walking in the door made this team that much better. A guy who has coached in this league in a successful way, played in the league, played great football in the league, I thought the day that he walked in the team was going to be better. Added the players that they added only makes it even better.
Matt Millen: Not as big as I thought they'd be, a little smaller, they run pretty good. Jack likes a lot of energy.
Which veteran free agent or undrafted rookie free agent acquisition intrigues you?
Beth Mowins**: I'm going to go with meat and potatoes - Dan Williams. They have new guys right down the heart of that defense, tackle, middle linebacker, safety. I think that point of attack is where they need to win some battles to free up the ends and the linebackers to get a lot more pressure on the quarterback and plug up those holes in the run game.
Tim Brown: Let me tell you this, if [Michael] Crabtree can be anywhere close to the Crabtree he was his first couple of years, this offense is going to be dynamic. There is no doubt in my mind that Amari Cooper is going to be a beast, once he gets comfortable with this whole deal, it's football, got on different colors, guys are a little bigger, a little faster, it's still football, he's going to be a beast. If Crabtree can come out and do anything, I think this offense is going to be spectacular.
Matt Millen: I think Rodney Hudson will help a lot, this is not a zone block team, [offensive line coach] Mike [Tice] likes to use a lot of angles and pulling, Hudson has that ability, they didn't have that a year ago. I kind of like SaQwan Edwards, I just watched a couple of tapes, there's something there, I don't know what it is, he's got something. He has good movement, movement is one thing, moving in the right direction is another, so he believes his eyes, that's a good thing.