Raiders vs Jaguars – Oakland Hands Jacksonville Their Second Loss Of The 2013-14 Season

Things start to look a little better as the Oakland Raiders beat the Jaguars 19-9. I hope that they can continue their wining ways so fans might start to buy Raiders tickets again. During this game, Bruce Allen knew that the Jaguars could be an interesting team for his young quarterback Terrelle Pryor to go against. The Raiders truly started to pick up the different blitzes in the second quarter. The Jaguars were doing quite a bit to disguise those different blitzes within the first quarter. The war of words between the team’s kickers led to largely nothing. Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee was able to handle the kicking surface in Oakland despite the fact that he was unable to get some advice from Sebastian Janikowski.

Chad Henne was not ready for some of the hard hits that the Oakland Raiders sent his way. The biggest difference in the game may have been the fact that running back Maurice Jones Drew was fairly limited by the Jacksonville Jaguars gameplan. Jones Drew is not only able to stay low to the ground and sneak past tacklers, but he is also very good at the concept of pass blocking as well.

Rod Streater was a source that the Raiders used in order to give Terelle Pryor an easy throw to make when Pryor wanted to start building some momentum. Jacoby Ford is the wideout that the Raiders may think can develop the strongest relationship with Terelle Pryor over the long haul. Ford did show some capability to catch the deep ball during the third quarter when the Raiders were able to put a field goal on the board. Darren McFadden was able to have one hundred and twenty nine yards in the game. If McFadden is able to stay healthy then the Raiders can keep things going within the AFC West.

Cecil Shorts was able to make some plays for the Jaguars by exploiting some of the safeties for the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders may miss Michael Hufff. Huff signed with the Baltimore Ravens in the offseason and some people may have doubts about the new safeties ability to wrap people up when tackling a given opponent. Jason Hunter was able to get a key sack in the game when it looked like the Jaguars were about to make a move and potentially line up for another field goal. Usama Young did the same thing that Hunter did Many people may question whether Chad Henne is truly alert enough and truly fleet of foot, but the truth of the matter is that the Raiders defense was playing with a lot of confidence.

The fact that Raiders quarterback Pryor did not throw an interception in the game may begin to show that Pryor is beginning to truly understand NFL defenses and that the game is starting to slow down for him. The Raiders did fumble once in the game, but it was early enough in the game that the error did not make that much of a difference. The Raiders are certainly going to have real test against the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning next week.

Oakland Raiders Still Struggling Through Rebuilding Process

Controversy Management

I questioned whether or not to renew my Raiders tickets this year because of the battle between Terelle Pryor and Matt Flynn at the quarterback position. With the start of the season right around the corner, you would think that they could make a decision by now. Also, you have to wonder whether more of the conversation should have been tied to the loss of tight end Brandon Myers to the New York Giants in free agency. The Raiders simply do not have the necessary resources in order to re-sign a lot of the talent on their roster once they hit the free agent market. Denarius Moore can still show the necessary speed as he did during the preseason. Moore has to be willing to concentrate and make sure he catches the ball before he takes off running. The offense is not going to be able to move this season if they do not have an option on the outside like Moore.

Kicking Game

The Raiders need a solid kicking game, they are going to have some games in the regular season where they will have to put a lot. A number of people out there are questioning whether it was a good to cut punter Chris Kluwie and go with the rookie out of Oakland has not been afraid to reserve some of the decisions personnel department made, and reverse them on a very quick basis. Look at how the team cut their fourth round selection Tyler Wilson. The team decided to give the last quarterback slot on the roster to an undrafted free agent in Matt McGloin. The Raiders coaching staff is hoping that Rod Streater and Jacoby Ford won’t suffer a case of butterfingers and thus hurt a young, bright eyed quarterback like Pryor. Pryor may want the Raiders to run more quarterback options for him to exploit his overall skill set.

Progress

The Raiders were not able to win many of the close games during the preseason. Part of the trouble for the team may be due to the fact that Darren McFadden had a somewhat limited role within the offense. The team did struggle as a whole during their last preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, but they certainly did create a fair number of turnovers against the New Orleans Saints.

There are a lot of unproven faces on defense for the Raiders. The team is excited to have Charles Woodson back on their roster, but the truth is that Woodson may be able to act as a mentor for a young guy like DJ Hayden. Hayden is someone that got very high grades coming out of the draft combine a couple of years ago. The Raiders have to be able to move forward based on more than potential. Nick Roach and Kevin Burnett are two proven entities at the linebacker position, but there are some people that continue to worry about a potential rib injury that could linger with Nick Roach.

Usama Young has been impressed with some of the younger players on the Raiders roster in the secondary. Russell Wilson and others were able to fool them a bit during the preseason, but if the Raiders are able to develop a hard nose mentality under Dennis Allen then the team will have plenty of success.

Raiders Look To New Coaching Staff For A New Result

The Oakland Raiders have a lot of unanswered questions as they work through their off-season workouts. The Raiders truly have to improve in every aspect of the game. The team drafted a guy with a high IQ in Shelton Johnson to help improve the Special teams play.

Matt Flynn certainly has some things to worry about at quarterback with linemen like Alex Barron protecting him. Flynn should be excited about throwing the ball to Dontarius Moore. Moore has to step up and he has reportedly been taking the off-season workouts seriously.

On the defensive side of the ball, you will want to see Nick Roach showing rookie DJ Hayden how to survive in the league. Hayden is a DB while Roach plays linebacker, but he can certainly give Hayden a fair amount of tips on how to be tough and how to play effective Oakland Raiders football. In order for this team to be a force in the AFC West, they need to get their identity back under head coach Dennis Allen. Allen has a defensive background, so he likely carry on that hard hitting style of play.

Bobby April was brought in to try and improve the Special Teams unit. April has worked with the St. Louis Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles in the past. A former head coach in Tony Sparano was brought in to work on the technique of the offensive line. The team certainly needs to improve on their run blocking if they hope to keep Darren Mcfadden healthy.

The Raiders hired Greg Olson as their new offensive coordinator. Olson had worked with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the past. He has been working with Terrelle Pryor a lot during the work outs, the hope is that they can use that young man at multiple positions or potentially use him as trade bait in order to help their fortunes in the future. This is what the season is mainly about, maybe not immediate needs, but about the future instead. This doesn’t mean like the Raiders won’t celebrate the signing of Charles Woodson though.

Oakland Raiders Looking At A Large Number of Changes

Roster

The Oakland Raiders have made some key moves to help protect aging quarterback Carson Palmer. The Raiders resigned tackle Khaliff Barnes. The team still has holes on the offensive line that they hope to fill in the draft and within free agency. The Raiders also signed linebacker Kevin Burnett to bring back some of the toughness that were personified under former head coach Hue Jackson and former Raiders owner Al Davis.

Changes

The fact that the team released former first round pick Darius Heyward Bay may be a sign that the team is putting less emphasis on speed when it comes to wide receivers. The team may be looking for the full package from now on under head coach Dennis Allen. People of course are wondering whether the Raiders will take the time to resign a veteran like Richard Seymour on the defensive line. The fact that the Raiders just released Tommy Kelly may increase the urgency associated with the possible re-signing of Seymour. Seymour brings a steady hand to an unproven defensive line.

The team also released a quality defensive back in former University of Texas star Michael Huff. Huff was quick to sign with the Baltimore Ravens and the Raiders should be hoping that he doesn’t sign within a team in the AFC West.

Offense

Oakland did fire offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. This is the second time that Knapp has worked for the Raiders and there are questions about how much control head coach Dennis Allen truly had in picking Greg Knapp’s replacement, Greg Olson. The team has also made changes to their linebackers coach, special teams and the offensive line coach. The heavy amount of turnover is not good for a team that is looking for a certain amount of consistency. The Raiders did hire Bobby April as their new special teams coach, April had a very successful run as the special teams coach of the St. Louis Rams.

Expectations

The Oakland Raiders are still expected to finish last in the AFC West. The reasoning behind this is because of the great structure of the Denver Broncos roster and the wholesale changes that Andy Reid is expected to make with the Kansas City Chiefs. The San Diego Chargers are going to try to create a new, high flying offense under new head Mike McCoy as well.

Recent Developments

The signing of Alex Barron as a part of the offensive line doesn’t seem to symbolize a “just win” attitude. The Raiders are known for that “just win” attitude, but the fact that they didn’t re-sign an emerging star like Brandon Myers at the tight end position may make you question whether the team really wants to win. The team did re-sign Mickey Shuler as a tight end and they do hope that Travionte Session can also play a key role at the wideout position. The fact that the Raiders were unwilling to offer a serious deal to Mike Mitchell may be a sign that they are not worried about the safety position either.

It should be noted that the Raiders need to work hard to re-sign Cooper Carlisle. There are a lot of question marks out there about the Raiders roster.

Raiders vs. Buccaneers Game Recap

After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Oakland Raiders 42 to 32 on November 4, 2012, the Buccaneers advanced to 4-4, second in the NFC South, four games behind the undefeated Atlanta Falcons. Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin rushed for 251 yards and scored four touchdowns. The Raiders made the game exciting in the fourth quarter, but the Bucs held on. The Raiders fell to third in the AFC West (3-5), two games behind the Broncos.

The Buccaneers recovered their own fumble in the first quarter but neither team capitalized on opportunities much in the quarter. The Buccaneers had a field goal blocked by Lamarr Houston for the Raiders. Carson Palmer went to work as Raider quarterback, hit Mike Goodson for a first down, setting up the game’s first score, which was a 29 yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski. The Raiders concluded the quarter with a 3-0 lead.

Josh Freeman threw a touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson for the Buccaneers in the second quarter, raising the score 7-3. The twenty yard play was a deep pass to the right. The Raiders then used up the clock as Palmer moved the team to the Tampa Bay 25. From there Palmer connected with rookie Rod Streater on a 25 yard scoring play, as the Raiders took a 10-7 lead. In the final minute of the half the Buccaneers were able to get the ball to the Oakland 36, but Connor Barth’s attempt at a 54 yard field goal fell short.

Early in the third quarter Freeman threw a short pass to D.J. Ware, who turned it into a 12 yard gain to the Oakland 45. On the next play Doug Martin ran the ball up the middle, gaining 45 yards and a touchdown, expanding the Tampa Bay lead to 14-10. The Raiders then went three and out. The Bucs struck back on the next series when Freeman connected with a short pass that turned into a 37 yard gain by Mike Williams. The drive concluded with a four yard touchdown pass to Williams. With a 21-10 lead Leonard Johnson of the Bucs seized more momentum by intercepting Palmer and returning the ball to the Tampa Bay 38. A few plays later Doug Martin ran for a 67 yard touchdown, widening the Bucs’ lead to 28-10.

The Raiders came back to life with a scoring drive early in the fourth quarter, with a short pass from Palmer to Brandon Myers for a touchdown, narrowing the Bucs’ lead to 28-17. The Buccaneers answered with a one play drive from Doug Martin, who ran for a 70 yard touchdown, giving the Bucs a 35-17 lead. Palmer moved the Raiders again, connecting with Denarius Moore on a 26 yard play. The drive culminated with a one yard Palmer pass to Brandon Myers for a touchdown, cutting the Bucs’ lead to 35-24.

The Raiders recovered a Freeman fumble and capitalized with another touchdown drive. The drive included a 20 yard gain from Marcel Reese, who also caught the 13 yard touchdown pass from Palmer, followed by a two point conversion. The Bucs responded to the 35-32 score with an inability to covert on third down, so they punted. A few plays later Palmer threw a critical interception that gave the Buccaneers the ball on the Oakland 22. Martin then ran three times before getting the ball in the end zone for the winning touchdown.

Both Freeman and Palmer had big passing days, but Freeman was more consistent, completing 18 or 30 passes for 247 yards. Doug Martin rushed for 251 yards on 25 carries. The Raiders acquired most of their yardage in the air. They will need to improve their ground game to stay competitive in the AFC West, although it appears that the team may be leaning on Palmer more.

Measuring the Raiders’ success with Palmer at QB

 

Entering the 2003 draft, one thing was certain, USC's Heisman winning quarterback Carson Palmer was the most sure thing in the draft. Palmer set his first season in Cincinnati, learning the game from QB Coach Hue Jackson and the Bengal's coaching staff, while Palmer watched Jon Kitna run the team on Sundays. 

["Image by Erik Eckel via Flickr"]Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp

This is a luxery no longer afforded to rookie QB's; Andrew Luck, the first overall pick in 2012 was penciled in as Indianapolis' starting QB as soon as he was drafted, as was Washington's new QB Robert Griffin III who was taken with the third pick. Yet Palmer was given the oppurtunity to grow and develope over the course of a year. He was supposed to be the next Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. One of the elite QB's in the NFL. Despite having the gift of time to study and hone his craft, Palmer never developed into the QB many thought he was certain to be. 

This season will have an unprecidented number of QB's who have either one year, or no experience in the NFL starting week one for their clubs. Palmer is one of the key reasons as to why. Not only did Palmer refuse to play in Cincinnati in 2011, he forced the Bengals front office to commit to starting 2nd round draft pick Andy Dalton. Dalton was not the most exciting QB to watch in Cincinnati in 2011, but QB's are measured on winning, and Dalton did just that in 2011 going 9-7 in the regular season earning a playoff birth, for an otherwise unstable franchise. 

Dalton's sucess has the Bengal fan base believing that he is the guy who can lead Cincinnati to becomming the best team in the heavily contested AFC North, the way Palmer once did before Palmer injured his knee in his first playoff appearance. 

The knee injury that Palmer took from Steeler's Defensive End Kimo Van Olhoffen, started a downward spiral for Palmer. In 2008, Palmer began having problems in his throwing shoulder and elbow. He hasn't had the same velocity on his throws since then, yet hasn't changed his aggressive QB nature. Palmer is never affraid to put it all out there, and he knows what the throw needs to be. But as his body has deminished in his pro career, so has his passing numbers. Palmer hasn't thrown over 4,000 yards since 2007. Yet his interception to td numbers have sky rocketed. From '05-'07, Palmer had 86 Tds to 45 interceptions, nearly throwing two TDs to every pick. Since then, Palmer has 63 TDs, to 53 interceptions, a near 1-1 ratio.

With the penalties the Raiders have dealt with in the past few seasons, Palmer must protect the ball better for Oakland to have a chance to win. And as Jerry McDonald from the San Jose Mercury News shows us, he hasn't done a very good job securing possessions for Oakland that have turned into points. 

If Palmer continues down this careless road of turning the ball over, another first over all QB from USC, Matt Barkley may be the starter next season in Oakland. 

["Image by Monica's Dad via Flickr"]IMG_2426

TEN POSSESSIONS, NO TOUCHDOWNS

How the Raiders have fared in Carson Palmer's 10 preseason possessions against the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals:

Possession 1: vs. Dallas: 38-yard drive in four plays, ended with interception to Gerald Sensabaugh.

Possession 2: vs. Dallas: 35-yard drive in 11 plays, ended with Marquette King punt….More at Oakland Raiders: A glance at 10 preseason possession with Carson Palmer at … – San Jose Mercury News

 

More Reading

Palmer unimpressive again

 

Friday Night’s preseason game opened with the same high flying offensive play the Raider Nation saw Monday Night. Palmer on his first pass of the night was nearly intercepted by Adrian Wilson, his next pass was incomplete, and then the Raiders ran a short draw play for a minimal gain before punting.

The special teams and defense didn’t look very sharp either on their first times out. The offenses’ three and out was set up by a Jacoby Ford taking the kickoff out of the end zone to the 14 yard line. Then on the ensuing punt Patrick Peterson gave the Arizona Cardinals great field position with a 46 yard return. It only took seven plays for QB Kevin Kolb and the Cards’ offense seven plays to score a three yard touchdown run by second year player Ryan Williams.

["Image by Tanguero56 via Flickr"]Carson Palmer in Pocket

Palmer sharpened up on his second drive hitting Ford and Darius Heyward-Bey for big pass plays, before Darren McFadden carried the ball 22 yards to get inside the red zone. A pass interference call gave the Raiders the ball on the three yard line. After two failed McFadden rushes to get into the end zone, Palmer threw the ball away under pressure on third down and Oakland had to settle for just three points.

The defense and special teams stood up too for Oakland on their second trip on the field. The Kickoff team pinned the Cardinals on the five yard line, three plays later; Defensive Tackle Tommie Kelly sacked Kolb for a safety.

Starting on the Arizona side of the field for Oaklands’ third possession, Palmer set up a screen pass to McFadden for 17 yards.  Three plays later, Sabastion Janikowkski hit from 40 yards for his second field goal of the night.  

["Image by deb roby via Flickr"]Field goal attmept

Palmer finished the night going 13 of 27 passing for 107 and one interception. The first team offense didn’t score a touchdown in the first half. Darren McFadden did show lots of explosion tonight rushing for 34 yards on 9 carries, and pulling in 1 reception for 17 yards. McFadden also had a pass that was called incomplete that, in the regular season, may have been successfully challenged.

The first team defense was however successfully challenged the Cardinals offense getting three sacks, (one for a safety), five tackles for a loss and an interception.

There is still a long way to go for the Raiders if they want to stay out of the AFC West’s basement. 

 

Palmer talks to media after Wednesday Practice

 

["Image by clayjseal via Flickr"]DSC_0466

Quarterback Carson Palmer talked today after practice about his performance Monday night, his relationship with his receivers and how he is developing in the preseason.

One of the toughest things about this year’s preseason is the turn around the Raiders are facing after playing last Monday night against the Cowboys, and the upcoming game just four days later against the Arizona Cardinals.

“It’s a little bit of a funny schedule, but it is good because you have Thursday night games during the season. You have some Monday night games and short weeks, said Palmer. It is good practice for us to have to turn around right after a game and have a hard practice Tuesday after a Monday night game and then be ready to play in a couple days and get your body right. It’s good preparation for the season.”

After Monday night’s loss to the Cowboys, it’s obvious the Raiders’ offense does need more preparation for the regular season.

Darren McFadden was one of few bright spots during the preseason opener. McFadden, who sat out the last nine games of 2011 with a Lisfranc injury, started the game out gaining the Raiders’ first 38 yards. McFadden had 4-yard run, an 18-yard reception and a 16-yard run before Palmer tossed a wounded duck, deep down field towards Jacoby Jones that Gerald Sensabaugh intercepted.

“The interception was my fault,” said Palmer, who in 2011 had 16 interceptions in just 10 games. Monday night, Palmer was 3-6 passing for 33 yards. Including the interception, Palmer’s other two incomplete passes were thrown to WR Jacoby Ford who dropped both passes.

[Image By: Jeff Chiu/ AP Press]

Jacoby Ford

Palmer isn’t concerned with Ford's drops Monday night, “The drops, those are part of the game. I have thrown Jacoby a lot of balls and those are the only two balls I remember being dropped from last year, this offseason, OTAs, mini-camps, this training camp.”

For the Raiders offense to be successful this year, they will need Palmer to cut down on the turnovers from 2011, the offensive line to be less penalized and for McFadden to stay healthy. Palmer knows there will be times of inconsistency in the preseason considering how Oakland is using these games in an experimental way.

The play in which Palmer threw the interception, Palmer was supposed to take a seven step drop, and look for Jones to come off of a double move to get past the defense for a big play. Palmer knows that he didn’t give Jones the opportunity to make that play.

“Looking back at the film, I learned a lot from the play holding the safety with my eyes; being better with my head, (being aware of) where my eyes are, before the play.  You need to take those shots in the preseason to see how guys run on double moves. Are they better off running the deep post or just a straight go route?”

The good news coming out of the lackluster performance Monday night that saw the Raiders get shut out in front of their home fans, was that Palmer needs this time to develop, and work some of the kinks out. Last year Palmer didn’t start for the Raiders until Week 7, after being traded from Cincinnati.  Palmer is looking at this season very optimistically.

 “I have a ton of more confidence. There is no comparison to where I will be at Week 7 or 8 this year, as opposed to last year. Just getting the experience and the reps I need now will pay off come Week 1.”

 

 

Coach Allen’s thoughts after practice Wed., Who to watch for in preseason opener

 

Today we will be breaking down Head Coach Dennis Allen’s post practice thoughts from Wednesday August 8. The players are on an off day today, (Thursday Aug. 9) to rest up a little after several days of wearing full pads in the Southern California sun. On Wednesday the team practiced just in “shells,” or helmets, shoulder pads and shorts for those of us not up on our NFL practice lingo.

“We were going to go full pads today but we felt like the team’s been giving us everything they got and it was time for us to kind of take a little bit off of them,” said Allen. “The guys obviously appreciate it when you cut it back a little bit on them and you give them a chance to recover some

While, today is a day were the players get to rest up a bit, it’s business as usual for Coach Allen and his staff.  “We’ll spend most of our day talking about personnel, talking about the schedule with the upcoming games, different play-time scenarios. So there’s a lot of things behind the scenes that we’ll be doing on players’ day off.”

With Darren McFadden’s injury history, and the unknown status of RB Mike Goodsend, the one player likely to get an opportunity to prove himself will be Lonyea Miller. Miller, an undrafted RB from Fresno State has spent two years in the NFL as a backup/ practice squad player for the Dallas Cowboys in 2010, and then in Oakland in 2011. Miller is yet to appear in a NFL game, but that could change going into 2012.

[Image By:Ed Zurga-Associated Press]

“I’ve been impressed with what Lonyae’s been able to do. He’s a different type of back than the other backs that we got; he’s a little bit more of a downhill, pounder-type guy. He doesn’t have quite the same explosiveness as those other guys but he’s been a consistent runner. What I’ve seen and what he’s done in the zone scheme is he’s understood what his reads are and he’s made the proper reads, gotten his pads downhill, and made some yards.”

The bruising power back, could benefit from Michael Bush’s departure in 2012, it is highly unlikely that the Raiders will look to McFadden as a goal line back. It’s not exaggerating to say that a lot of Miller’s future will depend on how he preforms in Monday night’s preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys. “I would expect that he would be tired after Monday night’s game,” said Allen in response to the expected playing time of Allen. With McFadden being limited and Goodsend out, he will be the main ball carrier Monday night.

Another player who might help take a load off of Miller Monday night will be Fullback Marcell Reese. Reese has seen time recently in camp as a HB, Coach Allen explains why the lead blocker has been used in practice as a rusher.

“Some of it is trying to put him back there and handing the ball off to him and see where he’s at and see how he fits in the scheme. And some of it is also out of a necessity with some of the running back injuries. Just making sure that we’ve got enough bodies we can put back there and hand the ball off to,” said Allen.

As for help in the rushing game outside of the players on the team, Coach Allen is excited for what Offensive Coordinator Greg Knapp brings to the team.

“I think it was extremely important to get a guy like Greg Knapp. He is a guy that I have worked with before, and I have a lot of respect for. (When)You look at what he has done from a running-game standpoint. He has done a nice job as an offensive coordinator from the run-game standpoint. So he was one of the guys that I was extremely interested in when I got this job and I tried to get him to be the offensive coordinator. “

[Photo By:AP Press]

[New Offensive Coordinator Greg Knapp with Backup QB Matt Lienart]

Another player whose future is in the balance is Cornerback Ron Bartell. Bartell signed as a free agent after being released by the St. Louis Rams after Bartell suffered a neck injury early on in 2011.

“Early, especially in OTAs and mini-camp, we talked about (Bartell) a lot, it’s knocking the rust off and getting back in the groove of playing football,” Said Allen. Bartell can be a big contributor to Oakland’s defense if he is healthy and showing signs of improvement after spending a year away from football.

 “It takes a little while. It’s not an easy game. It’s a tough game played by tough people so it takes a little bit of time to knock the rust off. Fortunately for us we’ve got a lot of time to get him ready for the opening Monday Night game.”

Another cornerback who has spent some time away from football is Pat Lee. Lee was a second round pick in 2008 by the Green Bay packers out of Auburn. In his final season of college ball, Lee was an All-SEC defender who the Packers had great expectations for. Lee however spent most of his time in Green Bay as a special teams player not being able to crack the top four spots on the CB depth chart. Lee is getting a second chance to prove his NFL talent in Oakland and Coach Allen likes his improvements.

“He’s been improving everyday and that’s the thing we look for. When guys step up and make some plays they earn the right to move up the depth chart some. Like I said before, nothing right now is set in concrete. When guys earn that right we will move him up and give him the opportunity and see what they do with it.”

Undrafted rookie Rod Streater is another player that fans will get a chance to become acquainted with for the first time Monday night. Streater, a free agent from Temple University, has been impressing coaches all through camp and is quickly climbing his way up the depth chart.  

“He still is making an impression. I think he has done a real good job. I am very pleased with Rod. He is a big, athletic wide receiver. He gets in and out of his cuts well. But as with all the rookies, you still look up and he is making silly mistakes. We are going to stay on him and keep working with him. But if he just continues to work on getting better every day, he is going to be fine.”

To some, it was a surprise that Streater wasn’t a more sought after draft pick. The 6’4” WR who ran a 4.46 40 yard dash at the NFL combine averaged 18.0 yards a reception in his two years at Temple scoring 7 touchdowns. The thing that caused Streater’s draft stock to plummet, was his injury concerns. Streater had surgery in college to repair his shoulder, that surgery limited Streater in his senior season to only catching 19 passes. But, a player with his size and speed is always something a NFL team could use, regardless of his draft position.

[Image By: Paul Sakuma/AP Press]

“You never really know about the Draft. It’s not a perfect science. But he was a guy that we had on our board and he was a guy that as the Draft continued to go on that we were looking for where he was at. Unfortunately we weren’t able to draft him. But fortunately we hit free agency and we knew he wasn’t drafted and he was one of the primary guys that we were trying to get.”

So, now that we know a little bit more on the situations facing Oakland’s backups, Raiders fans can now have a little story line to cheer for after the big names hit the benches in their opener Monday night. 

More Reading

RB Goodsend Hopitalized amidst ever growing player safety concerns

 

 

Running back Mike Goodsend was carted off the field during Tuesday's practice after a helmet to helmet collision with linebacker Phillip Wheeler. Goodsend laid on the field motionless for a couple seconds after the hit, and Oakland Raiders trainers immediately took attention to Goodsend. As a precautionary measure, emergency personnel escorted Goodsend to the hospital for further evaluation.

["Image by kyle tsui via Flickr"]Running the ball

 

After camp, Raiders coaches initially knew little about Goodsend’s condition, aside from that the running back had feelings in his arms and legs, and was able to move them.

Goodsend’s agent, Kennard McGuire told ESPN’s Bill Williamson, that Goodsend was doing extremely well in the hospital and that all treatments so far were done in precautionary reasons.

As of right now, the extents of Goodsend’s injuries are still unknown, as is the time table for Goodsend’s return to the Raiders.

During the first week of training camp, Goodsend has impressed the Raiders coaching staff. Goodsend was traded to Oakland this year from Carolina, where Goodsend spent time as a backup to James Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. Goodsend a fourth year player this year, has seen limited playing time in his career, but last year he averaged 4.4 yards per carry on his 103 carries for 452 yards and three touchdowns.

Goodsend’s injury comes on the heels of an offseason centered around the NFL’s concern of player safety. Several starters and former New Orleans Saints players have been suspended for their role in the “Saints Bounty Gate,” including Middle Linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the entirety of the 2012 season. Saints’ Head Coach Sean Payton has been suspended as well for the 2012 season, and former Defensive Coordinator Greg Williams has been suspended indefinitely for his alleged leadership in the bounty system.

["Image by Tulane Public Relations via Flickr"]Jonathan Vilma & Greg Williams[Jonathan Vilma with Greg Williams at Tulane University]

Vilma, who is has a pending legal battle with the NFL for defamation of character, has been recently been offered a settlement of a mere eight game suspension to keep the case out of court. League Officials representing Roger Goodell, are denying the existence of the offer.

If the NFL is really offering Vilma the settlement, it makes you wonder their motivation. One could assume that this case would just further tarnish the image of the NFL, having one of its star players taking the league to court. However, if the league felt just in its original suspension of Vilma, it should stand that it has nothing to lose in the court of public opinion, unless it has other information on player safety that the league hasn’t been upfront with.

If the NFL and goes to court with Vilma, Vilma and his representation, and the NFL Players Association would have access to all information the league has obtained regarding player safety. The league could be hiding findings on studies done on how football effects the human mind and body over time, or other players and teams that have been known to have bounty systems in place that haven’t been penalized to the extent of the New Orleans Saints.

The most tragic story of the NFL Offseason, has been the suicide of former Linebacker Junior Seau. Seau who retired in 2010 took his own life with a gunshot to his chest. In his suicide note, Seau said he wanted his brain to be studied for research purposes related to the long term side effects of concussions.


["Image by Scott's View of the World via Flickr"]

 IMG_0413

The good news though, was the extreme care and concern shown by the Raiders Training and Coaching Staffs. Hopefully, Goodsend who has shown a lot of promise in camp, will be healthy and back to playing football soon. 

 

 

“Mike Goodson had a neck injury; we're not sure of the extent of it right now,” coach Dennis Allen said after practice. “He did have feeling in his extremities, which is good news. We'll monitor that throughout the night.”

Goodson caught a short pass during an individual drill inside the 20-yard line, turned up field and was met by a crunching blow by Wheeler. The force of the hit knocked out Goodson's mouth piece.

The running back was immediately tended to by Raiders trainer Rod Martin and the athletic training staff. His face mask was removed, and teammates Denarius Moore and Taiwan Jones knelt down beside him as he was treated….More at Oakland Raiders player Mike Goodson taken to hospital – San Jose Mercury News

More Reading