Some thoughts as I restart my journey covering the Oakland Raiders:
Key positions look deeper: A major problem for the Oakland Raiders over the past few years has been a lack of depth. Particular weak areas over the years (I covered the Raiders from 2008-13) were at receiver, the offensive line and at cornerback. All of these areas seem to be pointed upward. Coach Dennis Allen has praised the depth at each position. Yes, the Raiders need to see that depth pay off and they can always afford to get stronger at these areas. But it appears progress is being made at these positions.
A new Darren McFadden? McFadden is one of the most fascinating players on the team. We all know what he has done and what he is capable of. Yes, his career has been adversely affected by injuries. He has missed at least three games in all six of his NFL seasons and a total of 29 games due to injury. Allen has raved about McFadden, who re-signed with the Raiders for one season in March, saying the player has been dynamic. If McFadden has a resurgence, the Raiders' offense could soar especially with Maurice Jones-Drew in the backfield as well.
What to do with Matt McGloin? McGloin started six games last season as an undrafted rookie. He is now the No. 3 quarterback in Oakland behind Matt Schaub and rookie Derek Carr, the proposed short-term and permanent starters. McGloin is an interesting player, though. He is competitive and he has fight. I'm sure there could be some trade interest because some teams could see him as a backup. I'd think Houston coach Bill O'Brien -- his coach at Penn State -- would like to reunite. But he also offers great injury insurance for the Raiders. It could be an interesting next couple of weeks to see if the Raiders are tempted or keep McGloin. I can see cases for both.