Gutierrez: Where do Raiders go from here at TE?

August 3, 2011, 3:33 pm
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comOK, Raider Nation, you've had a night to sleep on it.Now that Zach Miller has chosen Seattle, Tom Cable and a guaranteed 17 million over returning to Oakland, what do you think the Raiders' next move should be at tight end?The answer seems obvious, at least by your responses to the poll on my Facebook "fan" page, where a whopping 78 percent of you voted for Al Davis to put the full-court press on unrestricted free agent Kevin Boss.The feeling, apparently, is mutual.
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Last week on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Boss told host Adam Schein he was keeping tabs on the Miller situation and that Oakland would "interest" him if Miller left, what with Boss being from the West Coast and all.So now with Miller gone, Boss, who played college ball at Western Oregon and was selected in the same 2007 draft as Miller would seemingly help ease the pain.Miller is the more accomplished pass catcher, with 226 receptions for 2,712 yards and a Pro Bowl invitation, compared to Boss' 119 receptions for 1,600 yards and a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants as a rookie.But Boss has been more dangerous in the red zone, coming up with 18 touchdown catches, compared to Miller's 12 TDs. And, many see Boss as a better run blocker, though Miller is underrated in that area.At 6-feet-7, Boss is also two inches taller than Miller.But does that make him the obvious target, not only for Al Davis in training camp, but for quarterback Jason Campbell in actual games?Or is it another pipe dream? Could the Raiders already have the answer in house?Brandon Myers jumps to the top of the depth chart and played admirably when Miller was slowed by injury the past two seasons. But few, if any, see Myers maintaining the role needed in new coach Hue Jackson's system.Plus, the Raiders drafted a tight end in the sixth round out of Miami in Richard Gordon and seventh-rounder David Ausberry from USC is impressing in camp as he gets snaps at tight end.Then, there's the wild card - fullback Marcel Reece. He was a receiver in college and caught 25 passes out of the backfield for 333 yards last season with three touchdowns. Might he be able to make the conversion to tight end? Thing is, he's only 6-3, 240 pounds, not quite the size of the Raiders' prototypical tight end.So where do the Raiders go from here? Time is of the essence since veteran free agents signed after the lockout can begin practicing Thursday. And the exhibition opener is Aug. 11.That's eight more nights to sleep on it, Raider Nation.