By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, September 23rd, 2011 at 10:45 am in Oakland Raiders.
Pinch-hitting for Steve Corkran today . . .
It’s looking as if the Raiders will go with a pair of explosive rookies to help remedy their anemic return game Sunday against the Jets.
Taiwan Jones, the Raiders’ fourth-round pick, was returning kickoffs Friday, while Denarius Moore was working on punt returns.
Both those roles belonged to Nick Miller through the first two weeks of the season, with lackluster results. Miller was returning kickoffs with the “look” team Friday and was mostly a spectator while Moore fielded punts.
Moore did mishandle a pair of punts, however. One he misjudged, reaching out at the last second as the ball his hands and bounced free. A short time later, he had an easy chance bounce off his body and hands and to the ground. He fielded several kicks flawlessly after that.
Oakland’s injury situation remains status quo. No sign of Jacoby Ford, Mike Mitchell or Louis Murphy, who probably will all be ruled out of the Jets game later today. Other players, such as Kevin Boss, Chris Johnson and Darrius Heyward-Bey, were all on the field and are likely to play.
No worries about Sebastian Janikowski, who showed up with a foot injury on Wednesday’s report. He had several kickoffs during practice.
WHY MOORE LASTED UNTIL 5TH
Here’s a link to a story in today’s print editions about how rookie wide receiver Denarius Moore fell to the fifth round, No. 148 overall, after 18 other wide receivers had been selected.
Talked with NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, one of the best in the business, and some of what he said is quoted in the article.
Moore’s best production didn’t come until his senior year, where he averaged better than 20 yards a catch and scored nine touchdowns, and he wasn’t utlilized much on kick returns, diminishing him in that department. He wasn’t used as a punt returner at all, interesting in that he’ll probably be in that role Sunday against the Jets.
Here’s the thing about Mayock. He readily admits he and other analysts appear to be off regarding Moore, and he was willing to take the phone call to talk about it. He could have easily received the message which included the storyline and made himself scarce. Mayock said he goes back every year on players he missed to see where he might have erred.