Gutierrez: Just how thin is Raiders' LB corps?

August 25, 2011, 11:20 pm
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comNAPA -- Rolando McClain had his helmet taken from him by coach Hue Jackson twice this week, meaning the second-year middle linebacker was either A) "nicked up" or B) merely given a mental break.Backup linebacker Travis Goethel suffered a potential season-ending knee injury on a non-contact play.NEWS: Raiders LB Goethel tears knee, out for season
And you were wondering how thin the Raiders' linebacking corps is?Sam Williams, the most-tenured Raider and an outside linebacker by trade and special teams standout, was running Oakland's first-team defense in the middle on Wednesday. Right around the time free agent Kirk Morrison was signing with Buffalo and free agent Lofa Tatupu was still unemployed.RELATED: Bills sign LB Morrison to one-year deal
"Yeah, I just kind of do what I need to do, fill in where needed," said Williams, drafted by Oakland out of Fresno State in the third round of the 2003 draft. "Just waiting until Rolando gets back out there practicing with us."I like to play football. It doesn't matter what position I'm playing. I try to play as hard as I can and know the defense inside and out."No disrespect to Williams, 31, but fans were burning up the Blogosphere and terrorizing the Twitterverse with their displeasure.GUTIERREZ: Would Tatupu fit Raiders' bill?
Not that Williams, who has started 24 of the career 84 games in which he's appeared, cared, or even knew about it."I just go out there and play," said Williams, who has one career sack, one career interception and 87 career tackles. "When my number is called, I show up."So what should the Raiders do to address their relative lack of depth at linebacker?