1. At this time, is it safe to say that Matt Schaub will be the Raiders' starting quarterback this year? What are the odds of Derek Carr starting at all as a rookie?
Yes, it's safe to say Matt Schaub will be the starter. Dennis Allen has made that abundantly clear. Whether he remains the starter should be ironed out by midseason, possibly earlier. If he looks as he did last season, they could make the change. The bye week is usually the best time to do that and theirs is week five. That would be the first milestone. This is not to say I expect that to happen in any way but it's certainly possible.
2. The Raiders added a lot of veterans to their team this offseason. How would you evaluate those moves based on what you've seen so far?
The moves themselves were marginal. They are mostly very good players who are seen as stopgap solutions until they can put the team together long term. To be honest, I expected better with the record $61 million they had at their disposal. As far as how they look, it's too early to tell for many of them. Maurice Jones-Drew, Justin Tuck, James Jones and Austin Howard have stood out. Tarell Brown looked good in camp but struggled in the first preseason game trying to guard Cordarrelle Patterson. People like to say "small sample size" and the Lions game will offer more to that sample size.
3. The Raiders followed up two straight 8-8 seasons with two straight 4-12 seasons. What are the expectations like in Oakland for 2014?
The expectations are not high. They are improved from last season. They would kind of have to be considering that roster was considered by many to be the worst in the NFL. Every position is upgraded, but they have a tough schedule and are still a long way from having the type of team they need. That being said, the offensive line will push some teams around, which could go a long way to pulling out a few improbable wins. I'm not ready to make my season record prediction.
4. What are some position battles that Raiders fans will be keeping a close eye on during Friday's game?
Backup RB: Latavius Murray vs. Kory Sheets, starting LG: Khalif Barnes vs. Gabe Jackson, backup RG/C: Tony Bergstrom vs. Kevin Boothe, starting LB: Miles Burris vs. Sio Moore, backup CB: Keith McGill vs. TJ Carrie.
5. The Raiders aren't really going to move to San Antonio, right? What do you see as the eventual resolution to their stadium situation?
While the stadium situation is far from resolved, and I don't think anyone really knows how it will be resolved, I don't think San Antonio will be the destination. I still think it's between Oakland and Los Angeles.