OAKLAND, Calif.: The first exhibition game gave the Oakland Raiders the chance to show off how good their running could be this year.
As for how JaMarcus Russell will be throwing the ball, coach Lane Kiffin didn't give his prized quarterback many chances to pass in the 18-6 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Friday night.
Russell attempted just five passes in his two series, completing two of them. Kiffin didn't call for any of the bootlegs or rollouts Russell has been successful running in practice that are such a key component of Oakland's offense. He didn't want to expose his star quarterback to a possible hard hit outside the pocket.
"I don't know yet that we can all of a sudden be a pass-heavy team and throw the ball all over the place," Kiffin said. "With a right tackle that was injured the last half of the year coming back, a new left tackle, and not very much line depth, there's no part of me right now that could tell you we would be able to change right now from where we were last year."
Kiffin is the man.