RON BARTELL CHIMDI CHEKWA
Ron Bartell vs. Chimdi Chekwa
Tale of the tape:
Bartell: 8th season, 6-1, 210, Howard
Chekwa: 2nd season, 6-0, 190, Ohio State
Roster Depth chart More camp battles
Both are physical, rugged hard-hitters for cornerbacks, even if both are coming off season-ending injuries. Bartell, in fact, suffered a broken neck in his first game for the St. Louis Rams last season so there are plenty of questions regarding his durability and willingness to, well, stick his neck out there on a runaway running back. He, however, has no qualms. At least, not yet. "I didn't actually know that I had fractured my neck," said Bartell, who surrendered two completions the three times he was thrown at, for 48 yards, last season. "It felt more like a stingerso I never had to go through that anxiety of getting carted off the field or losing feeling or paralysis or anything. I'm fine. I'm ready to go." Chekwa, meanwhile, dislocated his shoulder on the first day of padded practice last summer, then was shut down with a hamstring injury after appearing in four games with one start. "Last year, I think I competed," said Chekwa, who gave up nine completions the 14 times he was targeted, for 126 yards and a touchdown. "I am happy that I competed, but I had a couple of injuries last year. I am looking forward to doing a better job of staying healthy this year and staying on the field."
The Raiders had an NFL-best seven players on the initial Pro Bowl roster. The number planning to play in the league’s all-star game continues to dwindle.
That total's down to three after left tackle Donald Penn and receiver Amari Cooper bowed out. Penn won’t be ready after suffering a knee injury in the regular-season finale, an ailment that kept him out of a playoff loss at Houston. Cincinnati’s Andrew Whitworth will take Penn’s place.
Cooper battled a shoulder injury late last season, though it's uncertain exactly what is keeping him from the game.
In addition to Penn and Cooper, Quarterback Derek Carr obviously can't play while recovering from surgery to repair a broken fibula. Edge rusher Khalil Mack also bowed out recently with what is believed to be a minor back injury.
There’s a possibility a fifth Raider will also excuse himself. Center Rodney Hudson suffered an ankle injury in the playoffs. It remains uncertain whether he’ll play in the Pro Bowl.
Safety Reggie Nelson and left guard Kelechi Osemele remain firmly in the fray at this stage.
Mike Tice’s contract expired shortly after this season’s end, but there was strong belief he would retain his post with a new deal.
A league source confirmed Wednesday that a new deal was in place for Tice to remain with the Raiders. The exact length of the contract was not disclosed. Assistant coach contracts are typically set for two years, though they can be three in some cases.
Tice was the first assistant Jack Del Rio hired after being named Raiders head coach. The two are long-time friends, dating back to days playing for the Minnesota Vikings in the 1990s.
Tice was Del Rio’s assistant head coach for three seasons in Jacksonville, which made him a natural fit for a new project in Oakland. It was a smart hire. Tice has been excellent as Raiders offensive line coach, managing and scheming for one of the NFL’s best position groups.
ESPN first reported the Tice agreement.
While offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave was allowed to leave on an expired contract and is now Denver quarterbacks coach, the rest of the Raiders offensive staff remains intact.
Quarterbacks coach Todd Downing was promoted to offensive coordinator and his assistant Jake Peetz assumes his old post.
The Raiders still have a vacancy on the defensive side, with Marcus Robertson out and on to the Broncos staff.