After beefing up Oakland's front five with the addition of Penn and guard Austin Howard, general manager Reggie McKenzie mined the open market to add running back Maurice Jones-Drew alongside the re-signed Darren McFadden.
A healthy McFadden is the better of the two today, but MJD wasn't handed $7.5 million over three years to sit and watch. The Raiders plan to use both backs -- along with Marcel Reece, a favorite of owner Mark Davis -- to bang away at opponents on the ground.
It's a winning idea in July, yet Oakland plays in a division that sent every team but the Raiders to the playoffs last season. Coach Dennis Allen's squad went 1-5 inside the AFC West in 2013 and rarely held the lead, making a time-sucking ground game an impossibility.
Oakland won't go far without a strong passing attack, but if Carr takes the field sooner than later -- as some believe he will -- emphasizing the run makes plenty of sense.