By Steve Corkran
Thursday, August 18th, 2011 at 3:06 pm in Oakland Raiders.
From time to time, I will seek to answer questions that keep getting asked in the comments field of previous posts or via Twitter. That way, you know the questions aren’t falling on deaf ears.
1. Is linebacker Lofa Tatupu still an option for the Raiders?
A: He is an option. However, the fact the Raiders brought in Tatupu for a workout early in camp and didn’t offer him a contract portends Tatupu’s health being a concern, he was asking for too much money or he wasn’t willing to accept the role offered him at the time.
The other issue is, Tatupu is a middle linebacker. That position is locked down by second-year player Rolando McClain. So, Tatupu would be signed only as a backup and occasional situational player.
It’s conceivable that the Raiders are hoping that Tatupu won’t find another team willing to let him compete for a starting spot, which would drive down Tatupu’s asking price and make him more inclined to accept a backup role.
Same logic applies to former Raiders middle linebacker Kirk Morrison.
2. Is there anyway that we can replace cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha?
A: No, not with one player, unless the Raiders trade for Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.
As free safety Michael Huff said Wednesday, the Raiders need to realize that they aren’t going to find a player who can replace Asomugha by himself and focus on each defensive player playing better to help offset the void.
3. Are the Raiders going to select Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor in the Supplemental Draft on Monday?
A: There’s a distinct possibility. With that said, it likely wouldn’t be until the fifth round or later because the Raiders are without a second- and fourth-round pick in the 2012 NFL draft, and they would be hesitant to use a first- or third-rounder on a player who isn’t a sure thing at quarterback.
But a player with Pryor’s talent is worth a gamble, even if he winds up playing another position. If he can succeed at quarterback, great. If not, make him the next Ronald Curry.
4. Is Darrius Heyward-Bey going to start at wide receiver?
A: Great question. Coach Hue Jackson has answered it, just not in certain terms. It remains to be seen whether his actions match his words.
Jackson keeps saying that starting jobs and playing time will be based upon performance. If that holds true, then you should see rookie Denarius Moore and either Chaz Schilens or Jacoby Ford as the starters.
Heyward-Bey has been pretty solid since he returned from an undisclosed injury at the start of camp. Schilens and Ford looked even better in their limited practice time. Moore clearly has been the top receiver.
5. Is rookie running back Taiwan Jones going to make the 53-man roster?
A: No question. The only way he won’t be on the opening-day roster is if his undisclosed injury is serious enough that it warrants his being placed on injured reserve.
Otherwise, there’s no way the Raiders are parting ways with Jones. He is too fast, too versatile and too promising to let go, especially when he hasn’t had much of an opportunity to show what he can do on the field.
So, Jones isn’t going anywhere.