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Gutierrez: Raiders 53-man roster analysis

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Gutierrez: Raiders 53-man roster analysis

Sept. 7, 2011

GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.com

Quarterbacks
6 Terrelle Pryor 6-6, 230 Ohio State Rookie Third-round supplemental draft pick can keep his nose clean by keeping it in playbook during five-game suspension, unless he wins appeal 7 Kyle Boller 6-3, 220 California 9th yr. Beat out Trent Edwards for No. 2 QB in one of most intriguing camp battles 8 Jason Campbell 6-5, 230 Auburn 7th yr. As unquestioned starter, more comfortable and confident than he was last seasonRunning backs
20 Darren McFadden 6-2, 210 Arkansas 4th yr. Run DMC looking to build on last year's breakthrough season22 Taiwan Jones 6-0, 195 Eastern Washington Rookie Called "probably the fastest man I've ever seen" by safety Michael Huff
25 Rock Cartwright 5-8, 215 Kansas State 10th yr. Soothing locker room presence and special teams ace29 Michael Bush 6-1, 245 Louisville 4th yr. Loves to bring the thunder to McFadden's lightning45 Marcel Reece 6-3, 240 Washington 4th yr. Stats may not mean much to fullbacks, but they should with the hybrid talents he bringsTight ends
82 Richard Gordon 6-4, 265 Miami Rookie A somewhat surprising add to roster, he seemed destined to practice squad83 Brandon Myers 6-4, 250 Iowa 3rd yr. Quality special teams player who must improve his pass-catching skills86 David Ausberry 6-4, 245 USC Rookie Former WR had prettiest TD catch of the preseason with his foot-drag-in-the-end-zone special87 Kevin Boss 6-6, 255 Western Oregon 5th yr. Counted on to fill Zach Miller's shoes, has been down since spraining left knee in second exhibitionWide receivers
12 Jacoby Ford 5-9, 185 Clemson 2nd yr. A highlight game for the ages against Kansas City has set the bar awfully high17 Denarius Moore 6-0, 195 Tennessee Rookie Again, how did this guy, who made a highlight reel catch seemingly every other day in camp, slip to fifth round?18 Louis Murphy 6-2, 200 Florida 3rd yr. Productive rough-around-the-edges pass catcher still recovering from what sounds like sports hernia procedure in camp80 Derek Hagan 6-2, 215 Arizona State 6th yr. A sure-handed veteran presence who gives receiving corps a missing element81 Chaz Schilens 6-4, 225 San Diego State 4th yr. Fans growing weary of his teasing skills but injury-prone ways85 Darrius Heyward-Bey 6-2, 210 Maryland 3rd yr. Is the third year the charm for the much-maligned former No. 7 overall pick?89 Nick Miller 5-9, 180 Southern Utah 3rd yr. Hanging on by fingertips as team's most experienced punt returnerOffensive line
61 Stephen Wisniewski 6-3, 315 Penn State Rookie Li'l Wiz entered camp as starting center, enters season as starting left guard64 Samson Satele 6-3, 300 Hawaii 5th yr. Center has a certain air of confidence surrounding him now66 Cooper Carlisle 6-5, 295 Florida 12th yr. Written off by several observers, all the right guard does is keep his position68 Jared Veldheer 6-8, 315 Hillsdale 2nd yr. Growing into his own while blocking the QB's blind side at left tackle69 Khalif Barnes 6-5, 325 Washington 7th yr. Locker room cutup has won the right tackle gig, but for how long?72 Joe Barksdale 6-4, 325 LSU Rookie Champing at the bit to assume right tackle from Barnes74 Bruce Campbell 6-6, 315 Maryland 2nd yr. The physical specimen missed the first few weeks of camp with a right knee injury but right guard is maturing quickly75 Stephon Heyer 6-6, 330 Maryland 5th yr. Can play any position on line, save center, and is one of most thoughtful quotes, tooDefensive line
77 Matt Shaughnessy 6-5, 270 Wisconsin 3rd yr. How close if he to being an elite defensive end in the league? Thisclose79 John Henderson 6-7, 335 Tennessee 10th yr. Mammoth run-stopping specialist DT needs to pick his spots as he has a lead of mileage on his tires90 Desmond Bryant 6-5, 290 Harvard 3rd yr. Defensive tackle has a cool fury about him that belies his Ivy League background91 Trevor Scott 6-5, 255 Buffalo 4th yr. Has looked impressive back down on the line at DE after a stint at LB and blowing out a knee last season92 Richard Seymour 6-6, 310 Georgia 11th yr. The spiritual leader of the locker room is probably on his way to Canton, but the DT to stay healthy in Oakland first93 Tommy Kelly 6-6, 300 Mississippi State 8th yr. Suddenly, the DT kept silent by Warren Sapp and Ted Washington is best quote on team, and motivated force on field94 Jarvis Moss 6-7, 260 Florida 5th yr. Mossology on Twitter isn't always politically correct, but neither is his mood heading to Denver, his previous employer99 Lamarr Houston 6-3, 305 Texas 2nd yr. A lot more is expected out of the defensive end in terms of sacks and making playsLinebackers
52 Quentin Groves 6-3, 265 Auburn 4th yr. It only seems as though he played the entire preseason as Raiders don't seem completely sold on him at WLB55 Rolando McClain 6-3, 255 Alabama 2nd yr. MLB started camp with a renewed purpose that needs to be re-lit from within entering the season56 Darryl Blackstock 6-3, 245 Virginia 5th yr. A UFL feel-good story who talks of his long-standing affinity for the Raiders and his Silver and Black Starter jacket57 Ricky Brown 6-2, 235 Boston College 6th yr. Dependable backup MLB who just re-joined the team after spending camp with New England58 Bruce Davis II 6-3, 250 UCLA 3rd yr. High-motor legacy player -- pops won a pair of rings with the Raiders -- who sees most of his time on special teams96 Kamerion Wimbley 6-4, 255 Florida State 6th yr. Leading sack artist from a year ago with nine due a guaranteed 29 million after agreeing to long-term dealCornerbacks
23 DeMarcus Van Dyke 6-1, 180 Miami Rookie Third-round draft choice should only learn and get better from his preseason baptism by fire, right?26 Stanford Routt 6-1, 195 Houston 7th yr. Ready or not, Routt becomes The Man in the Secondary with Nnamdi Asomugha gone28 Joe Porter 5-10, 205 Rutgers 2nd yr. Did just enough in the preseason to warrant his sticking, though could be one of first on chopping block35 Chimdi Chekwa 6-0, 190 Ohio State Rookie Separated a shoulder on first day of padded hitting in camp and has been playing catch-up ever since37 Chris Johnson 6-1, 200 Louisville 8th yr. Had what he called an "oil change" in camp and says his body has never felt betterSafeties
24 Michael Huff 6-1, 205 Texas 6th yr. A cool confidence has enveloped the second-team All Pro, meaning somebody voted for him over either Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu27 Matt Giordano 5-11, 210 California 7th yr. Grizzled vet can show off his Super Bowl ring with Colts after being re-signed this week to add depth30 Jerome Boyd 6-2, 225 Oregon 2nd yr. Another feel-good camp story, former practice squader can slide down to linebacker in big nickel defense33 Tyvon Branch 6-0, 205 Connecticut 4th yr. Known more for his hitting and tackling than his suspect coverage skills, says he's improved in all areas34 Mike Mitchell 6-1, 220 Ohio 3rd yr. Fan favorite missed most of camp with mysterious injury to left leg but insists he'll answer the bellPunter
9 Shane Lechler 6-1, 225 Texas A&M 12th yr. Best in the business at what he does, but is he still ticked Tom Cable got axed?Placekicker
11 Sebastian Janikowski 6-2, 250 Florida State 12th yr. Training regimen has him looking more like MMA fighter than paunchy placekicker; he'll break longest-FG recordLongsnapper
59 Jon Condo 6-3, 250 Maryland 6th yr. Former Pro Bowler more than Alcide from "True Blood" lookalike; also security blanket for Lechler and SeaBass

Snap count: Raiders LBs Jenkins, Morrow receive long look inside

Snap count: Raiders LBs Jenkins, Morrow receive long look inside

OAKLAND – Raiders second-year pro Cory James seems set to play most every down at weakside linebacker. He doesn’t yet have a running mate on the inside.

Tyrell Adams was his wingman during the offseason program. Marquel Lee was his primary partner during training camp and in the exhibition opener. The fifth-round middle linebacker started Saturday’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams but didn’t last long.

He was removed after opening series, which left an opening for veteran Jelani Jenkins to earn more snaps.

Jenkins played two series with the first unit – he was anchored to the second team in camp -- and played 34 defensive snaps in all. He had six tackles, including two for a loss.

“I think Jelani Jenkins went in there and played pretty well in the second or third series and played the rest of the first half,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “I thought he was pretty solid.”

Del Rio has used a platoon in the middle, with Lee in the base package and other options playing in sub packages. The Raiders have used several players in a hybrid coverage linebacker role, one originally set for second-round safety Obi Melifonwu. He missed most of training camp with an undisclosed injury, and the Raiders have experimented with Sean Smith, Keith McGill before he got hurt, and now undrafted rookie Nicholas Morrow in that spot.

Morrow took a turn with the first unit, and completed his 26 defensive snaps in the second half.

“Nick, those young guys we gave them an opportunity to compete. He finds the ball a little bit,” Del Rio said. “...Nick, at the end of the game, had a nice breakup. Almost got a pick. Would’ve ended it. Would’ve been nice.”

Morrow finished with two tackles, including one for a loss, and a pass defensed. He was targeted three times in coverage and allowed one catch for five yards.

Playing close to the line of scrimmage is relatively new for Morrow, who played farther back at Greenville College.

“It was an adjustment because I’m used to playing outside of the box,” Morrow said. “I started watching film with some of the vets, and I’m definitely feeling a lot more comfortable in there.”

While Lee had 40 defensive snaps in the exhibition opener, he only had 11 in the second game. He allowed one 24-yard catch on the opening series and made one tackle, but Del Rio focused on positives for the young linebacker learning on the fly.

“I think he’s actually done some pretty solid things,” Del Rio said. “He’s not the first linebacker to ever get exposed in man coverage, which happened last week. So, I think he’s actually been pretty solid. We have a pretty solid run front and he’s part of that.”

OFFENSE
Quarterback – Connor Cook 25, Derek Carr 17, EJ Manuel 17
Running back – George Atkinson III 12, DeAndre Washington 12, John Crockett 10, Jalen Richard 7, Marshawn Lynch 4, Jamize Olawale 1
Wide receiver – Johnny Holton 29, Isaac Whitney 24, Jaydon Mickens 22, K.J. Brent 21, Keon Hatcher 18, Amari Cooper 17, Michael Crabtree 16, Cordarrelle Patterson 13, Ishmael Zamora 6
Tight end – Clive Walford 15, Jared Cook 15, Gabe Holmes 11, Pharaoh Brown 11, Lee Smith 10, Ryan O’Malley 8
Offensive line – David Sharpe 38, Jylan Ware 35, Jordan Simmons 35, Ian Silberman 25, Oni Omoile 41, Vadal Alexander 24, Gabe Jackson 24, Kelechi Osemele 24, Rodney Hudson 24, Kareem Are 22, Marshall Newhouse 15, Oni Omoile 13, Jon Feliciano 10, Chauncey Briggs 6

DEFENSE
Defensive line –
James Cowser 33, Eddie Vanderdoes 30, Mario Edwards Jr. 30, Treyvon Hester 28, Denico Autry 27, Khalil Mack 20, Darius Latham 19, Branden Jackson 16, Paul Boyette 11, Justin Ellis 11, Jimmy Bean 4, Fadol Brown 3
Linebacker – Cory James 37, Tyrell Adams 36, Jelani Jenkins 34, Nicholas Morrow 26, Shilique Calhoun 23, Bruce Irvin 20, LaTroy Lewis 14, Marquel Lee 11, Rufus Johnson 11, IK Enemkpali 10, Brady Sheldon 6
Cornerback – TJ Carrie 37, David Amerson 37, Antonio Hamilton 26, Kenneth Durden 26, Sean Smith 26, Dexter McDonald 20, Chris Humes 16, Breon Borders 8
Safety – Karl Joseph 37, Reggie Nelson 37, Marcus McWilson 20, Anthony Cioffi 16, Rickey Jefferson 16

SPECIAL TEAMS
Tyrell Adams 14, Shalom Luani 13, Shilique Calhoun 11, James Cowser 12, Elijah Hood 10, Nicholas Morrow 10, Jamize Olawale 10, Dexter McDonald 9, DeAndre Washington 9, Xavier Woodson-Luster 9, Marquette King 8, K.J. Brent 8, Isaac Whitney 8, Antonio Hamilton 8, Anthony Cioffi 7, Rickey Jefferson 7, Karl Joseph 6, Jelani Jenkins 6, Clive Walford 5, John Crockett 5, Sebastian Janikowski 5, Andrew East 5, Jalen Richard 5, Breon Borders 5, Marcus McWilson 4, Jaydon Mickens 4, Chris Humes 4, Ryan O’Malley 4, TJ Carrie 4, Darius Latham 3, Gabe Holmes 3, George Atkinson III 3, Eddie Vanderdoes 3, Mario Edwards 3, Treyvon Hester 3, Justin Ellis 3 Denico Autry 3, Jon Condo 3, Jon Feliciano 3, Lee Smith 3, Marshall Newhouse 2, Khalil Mack 2, Bruce Irvin 2, Giorgio Tavecchio 2, Cordarrelle Patterson 2, Vadal Alexander 2, Gabe Jackson 2, Kelechi Osemele 2, David Sharpe 2, Jylan Ware 1, Chauncey Briggs 1, Cory James 1, Oni Omoile 1, Kareem Are 1, Jordan Simmons 1, Ian Silberman 1, Branden Jackson 1, Brady Sheldon 1, Paul Boyette 1

DID NOT PLAY
WR Seth Roberts, CB Gareon Conley, S Obi Melifonwu, DB Keith McGill, OL Denver Kirkland, DL Jihad Ward

Raiders' Carr, Mack promote unity, racial harmony during national anthem

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USATSI

Raiders' Carr, Mack promote unity, racial harmony during national anthem

OAKLAND – All eyes shifted to the Raiders sideline Saturday night when the national anthem played.

Yep, Marshawn Lynch took a seat. No shocker there. He did the same thing last week, and while he hasn’t addressed it specifically, the action is linked with other anthem protests bringing attention to mistreatment of minorities in the United States.

Bruce Irvin stood with his brethren but raised his fist, as he did several times last year.

Derek Carr stood right on the sideline, and put his arm on Khalil Mack’s left shoulder. That gesture wasn't happenstance. It carried a message. It wasn’t, Carr insists, meant to protest anything.

“We’re not doing anything like that,” Carr said after a 24-21 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Coliseum. “We wanted to show the kids that look up to me, look up to him, white kids, black kids, brown kids, blue, green, it doesn’t matter -- all be loving to each other. We’re best friends and we’re loving to one another.

“The only reason we did that was to unify the people that look up to us because obviously you see what’s going on in the world. Obviously everyone pays attention to the national anthem nowadays. We just said that obviously this was the best time to do it while still honoring this country because I love this country. We’re free to live here and play this game but we’re also free to show that we love one another.”

Mack isn’t one to rock the boat. He and Carr wanted to make a statement without ruffling feathers, something that would remain positive while addressing racial issues prevalent in the news today.

“It’s discussed a lot,” Mack said. “It’s one of the things I feel passionately about but I just don’t like the tension that comes with it. But at the same time, just using our platform for positivity is what’s important to me.”

Offensive coordinator Todd Downing put an arm on fullback Jamize Olawale and echoed the Carr-Mack message. We’ve seen similar signs of unity across the league. Philadelphia defensive end Chris Long, son of former Raiders pass rusher Howie Long, put an arm around Malcolm Jenkins while he protested. Seattle center Justin Britt put an hand on Michael Bennett’s shoulder while he sat for the national anthem.

Those actions drew attention. Carr and Mack do the same.

Their star power increases the volume of their message. Carr’s an MVP candidate and the league’s highest-paid player. Mack is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. When they do something, people pay attention. That was their hope on Saturday, when the cameras would be aimed at them.

Carr and Mack are good friends off the field, and want to be an example of unity despite different races and backgrounds.

“I think that’s the message, the only message we were trying to get out,” Carr said. “Any kid, any family, any adult that follows us and looks up to us we knew their eyes would be on us and we wanted to show them for a white kid and black kid that grew up in different neighborhoods can grow up and love one another and be best friends.”