The Oakland Raiders travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks in their final game of the 2013 preseason. Tuesday, the roster was cut to 75 and the remaining players have one last opportunity to show the coaches and scouts what they can bring to the table before the 53-man roster is solidified.
QB Terrelle Pryor will start for the Raiders after an impressive performance coming in against the Chicago Bears at O.co Coliseum. Finishing with a 146.8 quarterback rating, Pryor went 7 for 9 passing for 93 yards and a touchdown and rushed four times for 37 yards and a touchdown.
"I did think Terrelle Pryor played well in the game the other day," said Head Coach Dennis Allen. "We'll get a chance to see Terrelle this week with the first-unit offense up against Seattle, and we'll see how he does."
Pryor is ready for his opportunity. "It's football. I'm with my guys," said Pryor. "I'm with the 10 guys on the field and overall with my whole team when we step on the field together. I know we have each other's back and that's all we need."
The Raiders will be challenged by the hostile environment at CenturyLink Field. It's known to be a loud stadium and it will be a test for both the offense and defense. "I want to see us go out there and compete. I think it'll be a great challenge for us again in that environment, against that team," said Coach Allen. "It'll be a great challenge for our football team. We get another chance to go out there and compete in a real game like environment and that's what I want to see our guys do."
Coaches and personnel staff will use the last preseason game to complete their player evaluations prior to Saturday's cut-down. "We're going to use the fourth game as an evaluation process," said Coach Allen. "We're going to play these guys, and then after that game we have to get down to 53. We'll have to make sure we pick to right 53 guys."
The Raiders will have many key players get significant playing time against Seattle. T Menelik Watson and CB DJ Hayden, both of whom do not have much game experience so far this preseason, will see considerable action.
"I believe that when your roster isn't completely set, when you don't have a team full of returning starters or you have injuries that maybe force you to evaluate some players, then that does change going into the fourth preseason game," said offensive coordinator Greg Olson. "It is what it is. Those guys that are going to be asked to play will play. They'll get some experience, and I think it will be very good experience for our football team."
The Raiders offense will face a challenging Seahawks defense, specifically the secondary. "They're going to play physical in the secondary," said WR Andre Holmes. "They're going to like to press our receivers so what we have to do is be physical and don't let them dictate the physical play. We have to bring it back to them."
TE Nick Kasa, who scored his first NFL touchdown against the Bears, knows the strength of Seattle's defense. "I know they're a pretty damn good defense," said Kasa. "So we just have to execute and do what we can do and see what happens in the game."
Kasa will be auditioning for the final time before the 53-man roster is set and he understands how he has to improve against the Seahawks. "I need to be more physical and just improve my run game blocking and all those kind of things," said Kasa. "Day-to-day it's getting a little bit better, but just have to keep improving and show what I can show in the game."
On defense, the Raiders will be facing an offense that in 2012 ranked top-10 in points per game. "They have a really good team. They're a great team," said DL Ryan Baker. "The offensive line is pretty good. They're going to come out swinging. They want to finish the preseason strong just like we do. I expect to see an intense game."
Seattle will be another opportunity for converted RB Taiwan Jones to show his improvement at cornerback. "I expect to see a tough offense. From what I've seen, they've got a good mobile quarterback, a lot of good receivers," said Jones. "They run a lot of deep routes. It should be a good test for us to see where we're at."
Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver is looking forward to playing the Seahawks and experiencing the atmosphere in Seattle. "Seattle is a test because of one, going up there is a great place to play football, I love that atmosphere. On defense, they're fun to watch," said Coach Tarver. "They run around and they hit, and they cover and they're nasty. That's a good environment."
"On offense, what they do, is they come out and they tempo you and I like what they do," added Tarver. "They stress your edges in the run game so its good practice and they'll throw some vertical routes and their quarterback can make all those throws when he's moving around. The test is good, in that we'll get to see a fast paced offense get in and out of the huddle and let's see if we can get our calls in, and execute them and get it going."
The hostile environment will also be good practice for QB Terrelle Pryor and the Raiders offense. They will have to communicate despite the noise. "It's one of the loudest stadiums in the league. I think most people who have played in that stadium would agree," said Coach Olson. "It'll give us a chance to be on the road in a hostile environment. It'll give us our second opportunity. We've played in a dome stadium that was very loud. Now we'll get a chance to play in an outdoor stadium that's considered one of the loudest. I think any time you have that type of preparation before the regular season, it's going to help you."
Baker is the type of player who enjoys a hostile crowd. "It depends on the type of player you are. Me, I love hostile crowd," said Baker. "It gets you going. It's exciting. It's part of the NFL so it's going to be intense and why would you want it any other way?"
The Raiders will take on the Seahawks Thursday at 7:00 p.m. PT. Watch the game on KTVU FOX 2 and listen on 95.7 The GAME. You can also follow along on Raiders.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.