By Steve Corkran
Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 at 7:45 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Now that the Raiders are down to 53 players, it’s time to sift through the carnage, see what remains and try to make sense of what transpired today.
*All eight players selected by the Raiders in this year’s NFL draft made the team
*The Raiders kept only two quarterbacks, meaning coach Hue Jackson is confident he can keep Jason Campbell and Kyle Boller healthy all season, or he feels as if he can sign a replacement for Trent Edwards if the need arises.
He also has the fall-back measure of turning to rookie Terrelle Pryor once his five-game suspension ends.
*The Raiders kept seven wide receivers. Does Jackson feel as if the Raiders are so deep at this position that he couldn’t let go any of them, or is he just worried about the long-term outlook of currently injured receivers Louis Murphy and Chaz Schilens?
Regardless, this is as talented a receiving corps as the Raiders have had in many years.
*Four tight ends are on the roster, including draftees David Ausberry and Richard Gordon. This will help whenever the Raiders need some extra blocking and lone fullback Marcel Reece needs a break.
*Daniel Loper started four games at left guard last season in place of injured regular Robert Gallery. The Raiders were impressed enough to lock up Loper soon after the season ended/
Eight months later, the Raiders feel as if they are in fine shape without Loper on the roster in any capacity. It also came down to the Raiders feeling better about veterans Seth Wand and Stephon Heyer and not wanting to lose recent draftees Bruce Campbell and Joseph Barksdale.
*It was assumed that Michael Bennett or Rock Cartwright would make the roster, but not both. In the end, Jackson liked their veteran leadership, versatility and ability to fill many roles.
Throw in rookie Taiwan Jones, and the Raiders have five running backs on their roster.
*Defensive backs Stevie Brown, Walter McFadden and Jeremy Ware were trumpeted as being indicative of a deep draft class last year.
Well, either the Raiders found better players in Joe Porter, Chimdi Chekwa and DeMarcus Van Dyke or the aforementioned trio wasn’t as talented as made out to be.
*Veterans Sam Williams and Lito Sheppard were part of six vested veterans who had their contracts terminated. Some or all of those moves could be calculated ones.
By this, we mean the Raiders might want some or all of those players back but only as long as they aren’t on the hook for a sizable chunk of money.
A vested veteran is guaranteed his salary if he is on the roster at the start of the season. The Raiders can work around this loophole by signing them after the season starts.
Here is a breakdown of the 2011 Raiders by position:
Quarterbacks: Jason Campbell, Kyle Boller and Terrelle Pryor (suspended for first five games and doesn’t count toward 53-man roster)
Running backs: Darren McFadden, Michael Bush, Taiwan Jones, Michael Bennett and Rock Cartwright.
Fullback: Marcel Reece
Wide receivers: Chaz Schilens, Louis Murphy, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore, Derek Hagan, Jacoby Ford and Nick Miller
Tight ends: Kevin Boss, Brandon Myers, David Ausberry and Richard Gordon
Offensive linemen: Jared Veldheer, Stefen Wisniewski, Samson Satele, Cooper Carlisle, Khalif Barnes, Bruce Campbell, Stephon Heyer, Joseph Barksdale and Seth Wand.
Defensive linemen: Matt Shaughnessy, Lamaar Houston, Trevor Scott, Tommy Kelly, Richard Seymour, Desmond Bryant, John Henderson and Jarvis Moss
Linebackers: Kamerion Wimbley, Rolando McClain, Quentin Groves, Darryl Blackstock and Bruce Davis II
Safeties: Tyvon Branch, Michael Huff, Mike Mitchell, Jerome Boyd and Chimdi Chekwa
Cornerbacks: Stanford Routt, Chris Johnson, DeMarcus Van Dyke and Joe Porter
Kicker: Sebastian Janikowski
Punter: Shane Lechler
Long-snapper: Jon Condo
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