Typically, a team coming off a 5-11 season has numerous starting jobs up for grabs a month before its regular-season opener. But the Raiders appear to be relatively set with their starting lineup.
Oakland doesn't play its first exhibition game until Thursday night, when it visits the Dallas Cowboys. However, the starting lineup against the Cowboys likely won't look much different from the one Sept. 12, when the Raiders play the Tennessee Titans.
Most of the jobs in question on the Raiders' 53-man roster are for backup spots.
What follows is a look at how the starting lineup shapes up 33 days before the regular-season opener at Tennessee. Quarterback: Jason Campbell is the starter, with Bruce Gradkowski the leading candidate for the No. 2 spot. Charlie Frye, Kyle Boller and Colt Brennan are competing for third string. Running back: Darren McFadden and Michael Bush are vying for the primary role, with the loser still assured of significant playing time.
It's a tossup between Rock Cartwright and Michael Bennett for the third spot. Fullback: Projected starter Luke Lawton is suspended for the first two games of the season because he violated the league's performance-enhancing substance policy last season. Even so, he is expected to make the team and be the starter upon his return.
That leaves Marcel Reece, Manase Tonga, Chane Moline and Alex Daniels competing for the backup spot. Wide receiver: Darrius Heyward-Bey and Chaz Schilens will start, with Louis Murphy backing up both. Rookie Jacoby Ford should make the team because of his kick- and punt-return skills.
Johnnie Lee Higgins, Todd Watkins, Nick Miller, Shaun Bodiford, Yamon Figurs and Paul Hubbard are battling for the final two or three spots. Tight end: Zach Miller is the unquestioned starter. Brandon Myers and Tony Stewart are strong favorites to earn the two backup spots. Offensive line: From left to right, the projected starters are Mario Henderson, Robert Gallery, Samson Satele, Cooper Carlisle and Langston Walker.
Rookies Jared Veldheer and Bruce Campbell make the roster because of their potential and because they were the team's third- and fourth-round picks, respectively. Veterans Chris Morris, Khalif Barnes and Erik Pears are the leading candidates for backup roles. Defensive line: All indications point to rookie Lamarr Houston and second-year player Matt Shaughnessy starting at right and left defensive end, respectively. Veterans Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour are the starters at defensive tackle.
Desmond Bryant, Jay Richardson and John Henderson are odds-on favorites to be the backups. Linebacker: Kamerion Wimbley, Rolando McClain and Trevor Scott are the projected starters.
Ricky Brown, Sam Williams and Thomas Howard have the edge over other candidates to win reserve roles because of their experience and special-teams prowess. Rookie Travis Goethel and veteran Quentin Groves are intriguing options. Defensive back: Chris Johnson and Stanford Routt are locked in a heated duel for the cornerback spot opposite Nnamdi Asomugha. It is one of the few positions that remains undecided. Tyvon Branch and Michael Huff are penned in as the starting safeties.
Mike Mitchell is assured of a backup spot based on his potential. Seven others are seeking one, perhaps two, backup spots. Specialists: Kicker Sebastian Janikowski, punter Shane Lechler and long-snapper Jon Condo are locks to make the team.