Raiders CB carousel continues to spin

September 4, 2012, 5:53 pm
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ALAMEDA -- A year ago, the Raiders' cornerback corps consisted of Stanford Routt, Chris Johnson, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Chimdi Chekwa, Lito Sheppard and Joe Porter.Now?Try the current sextet of Ron Bartell, Shawntae Spencer, Pat Lee, Coye Francies, Phillip Adams and Joselio Hanson.RELATED: Raiders current 53-man roster
Not a single current cornerback took a single defensive snap with the Raiders last season. Remodel much?Surely rookie coach Dennis Allen, who cut his coaching teeth with the defensive backs in New Orleans, saw that he had to make some moves when he took the Raiders job."Well, I mean, I think as things played out throughout OTAs, minicamp and in training camp, we felt like that was a position that we needed to try to upgrade," Allen said. "And we felt like with the players that we brought in here, that it helps us as a team to be better."RELATED: Raiders release DVD, sign Joselio Hanson
The scheme is completely different from Oakland's famed bump-and-run man-coverage. The new guys will have the freedom to play in an updated defense."The secondary seems like they're all good guys, willing to work and I'm willing to work," said Hanson, who figures to see most of his time i the slot as a nickel back. "We're going to go into meetings and talk a lot, try to talk it out, get things ironed out and go see what happens."For fun and giggles, here's a look at last year's corners and their respective "burn rates" on the season: Routt (47.4), Johnson (71.4), Van Dyke (43.8), Chekwa (64.3), Sheppard (58.8), Porter (58.3).And here's this year's crew, with last year's burn rates: Bartell (66.7), Spencer (44.4), Lee (100, on 1-of-1), Francies (did not have a pass thrown his way), Adams (53.8), Hanson (50).With Monday's cut of Van Dyke and Chekwa being put on the practice squad over the weekend, the Raiders' run of bad luck in drafting cornerbacks this century continued.Consider: Van Dyke and Chekwa were taken in the third and fourth rounds in 2011, a year after Walter McFadden and Jeremy Ware were drafted in the fifth and seventh rounds, respectively.In 2007, the Raiders took John Bowie in the fourth round and in 2005 Fabian Washington (first round) and Stanford Routt (second round) came to Oakland, two years after Nnamdi Asomugha (first round).Sure, Asomugha worked out, but before him, the Raiders used a first-round draft pick on Phillip Buchanon.
"Once youve been around long enough youve seen anything and everything," said Bartell, when asked about the Raiders' current CB shuffle. "Thats one thing -- the NFL is not forgiving. Its always going to keep moving. Its not going to wait on any of us. You dont get used to seeing people come and go."No matter how long you play, its not a pleasant part of the job. People put a lot into this. Its tough to see, especially younger guys who havent had a full opportunity yet, its tough to see them go. DVDs a talented young guy. Hell catch on somewhere."
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