State of the Raiders … for now

Raiders coach Dennis Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie are of the belief that they have enough talent on their roster as it stands to compete for a Super Bowl title this season.

Naturally, that remains to be seen. Also, what else are they going to say? Time will tell. What’s certain is that the Raiders roster for the 2012 season will be comprised mostly of players currently under contract.
The Raiders have five selections in the upcoming NFL draft, and they still figure to add a handful more players through veteran free agency, as well as undrafted free agents.
So, things can change in a hurry. In the interim, let’s take a look at where the Raiders stand after more the first two weeks of free agency and a slew of offseason moves that included the purging of 2011 opening-game starters Stanford Routt, Chris Johnson, Samson Satele, Kamerion Wimbley, Jason Campbell, Chaz Schilens and Quentin Groves through outright release or free agency.
This is what awaits Allen next week, when he and his coaching staff are permitted to work with their players for the first time this season.

Who’s here: Carson Palmer, Terrelle Pryor, Rhett Bomar
Who’s gone: Jason Campbell, Kyle Boller
What’s needed: Pryor hasn’t taken a snap in an NFL regular-season game and spent most of his rookie season adjusting to the NFL. Romar has yet to play in a real game, either. Therefore, it’s likely that the Raiders will address the need for a backup to Palmer by signing a veteran free agent before training camp.

Running back
Who’s here: Darren McFadden, Taiwan Jones, Lonyae Miller, Rashawn Jackson
Who’s gone: Michael Bush, Rock Cartwright
What’s needed: The Raiders are set at running back if Allen and McKenzie feel as if Jones is ready for a heightened role. McFadden is expected to be the workhorse once again after missing most of the final 10 games with a sprained foot. Jones played only sparingly as a rookie, yet he showed during training camp and exhibition games that he can be effective as a complementary back.

Who’s here: Marcel Reece, Manase Tonga
Who’s gone: No one
What’s needed: Nothing

Tight end
Who’s here: Brandon Myers, David Ausberry, Richard Gordon
Who’s gone: Kevin Boss
What’s needed: McKenzie jettisoned Boss one season into a four-year contract. That leaves him without a proven player as his starter. It’s conceivable that Myers or Ausberry can blossom into the role this season. Still, it says here that McKenzie will keep searching for a veteran to hold down the spot filled by Boss last season until he is comfortable with one of his younger players.

Wide receiver
Who’s here: Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore, Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy, Eddie McGee
Who’s gone: Chaz Schilens, T.J. Houshmandzadeh
What’s needed: Heyward-Bey, Moore and Ford played well, at times, last season, especially when they weren’t hurt. However, none has emerged as a No. 1-type receiver yet. The hope is, that one or more of them will do this season. That leaves the Raiders in the market for depth in light of the departure of Schilens to the Jets and Houshmandzadeh not being re-signed.

Offensive line
Who’s here: Jared Veldheer, Stefen Wisniewski, Cooper Carlisle, Mike Brisiel, Khalif Barnes, Joseph Barksdale, Bruce Campbell, Zach Hurd, Alex Parsons
Who’s gone: Samson Satele, Stephon Heyer
What’s needed: Losing Satele to the Colts via free agency became a non-issue once the Raiders signed Brisiel to a multi-year contract. Brisiel’s arrival frees up Wisniewski to slide from left guard to center. The Raiders also re-signed Barnes and Carlisle in moves that ensured the Raiders offensive line would return intact, with the exception of Satele. Barksdale and Campbell are expected to compete for starting jobs in training camp. Hurd and Parsons provide added depth and options. This isn’t a unit that needs much help, if any, moving forward.

Defensive line
Who’s here: Matt Shaughnessy, Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly, Lamarr Houston, Desmond Bryant, Jamie Cumbie, Mason Brodine, Travis Ivey, Hall Davis
Who’s gone: Jarvis Moss, John Henderson, Trevor Scott
What’s needed: The Raiders let walk Scott, and they haven’t made any move to bring back Moss. They tendered a one-year contract to Bryant, who is expected to play an even bigger role than he did last season, when he filled in for the injured Shaughnessy for most of the season. All four starters are back. However, the Raiders are without a proven nose tackle, which they will need if they intend to play a 3-4 scheme. Ivey and Bryant are prime candidates if the Raiders can’t find, or afford, a veteran free agent.

Who’s here: Aaron Curry, Rolando McClain, Travis Goethel, Carl Ihenacho,
Who’s gone: Kamerion Wimbley, Darryl Blackstock, Quentin Groves
What’s needed: McKenzie said he still wants to add an outside linebacker. That makes perfect sense, given the departure of Wimbley to the Tennessee Titans via free agency. Curry and McClain finished the season as starters last year. Even so, this is the unit that poses the biggest question mark heading into training camp. Look for one or more linebacker to be added, be it in free agency of the NFL draft.

Defensive backs
Who’s here: Chimdi Chekwa, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Michael Huff, Tyvon Branch, Mike Mitchell, Bryan McCann, Ron Bartell, Shawntae Spencer, Brandon Underwood, Curtis Taylor, Pat Lee, Terrail Lambert
Who’s gone: Stanford Routt, Chris Johnson, Lito Sheppard, Matt Giordano, Jerome Boyd
What’s needed: The Raiders canned Routt and Johnson. In response, they signed veterans Bartell, Spencer, Underwood and Lee. Before you feel comfortable with any two of the candidates as starters, consider the Raiders finished the 2010 season with Nnamdi Asomugha and Routt as the starters. It’s time for someone to emerge as a front-line player from this group.

Who’s here: Sebastian Janikowski, Shane Lechler, Jon Condo
Who’s gone: Rock Cartwright
What’s needed: Perhaps another core special-teamer who can replace Cartwright. Kassim Osgood would be a great fit here. Beyond that, the Raiders still boast one of the best specialists trio in the league.


Steve Corkran

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    Anybody that’s on Twitter: let’s welcome our newest backup RB!

  • YoungAmerican

    Adam Caplan ‏ @caplannfl

    #Panthers announced they traded RB Mike Goodson to the Raiders for G/T Bruce Campbell.

  • YoungAmerican

    Raider O Says:
    March 30th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Now we have 3 fast RBs , but we don’t have a big back for short yardage situations.


    Look for PS guys like Miller and Jackson to compete for that job. Probably another UDFA as well.

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    I voted Raiders just because so many of you are acting like this is life or death. But I think the ’00 Ravens are better than the ’76 Raiders.

  • raiderguy10

    We traded Bruce Campbell for him. Too bad, I had hopes for Campbell.

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    Wow. Campbell really did suck. At least we got something for him.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Mike Goodson is a decent backup, although not so much the ‘power back’ to compliment DMac. This guy plays Special teams too, and will probably be our 2nd best return guy next to Ford. I think he has a bit of fumblitis though

    Goodson is a decent a third-down back that can be effective in the passing the game but blocking is obviously not his strong suit. He’ll join Darren McFadden and Taiwan Jones in the Raiders backfield next season


    so Goodson fumbles a lot and can’t block for spit?

    hope we didn’t trade any future picks for him!

  • YoungAmerican

    hope we didn’t trade any future picks for him!

    Read above. Bruce Campbell.

    Dude wouldn’t have made it through training camp anyway.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Adam Caplan‏@caplannflReply

    ECU OT Stephen Baker is scheduled to visit the Raiders next month.

    Adam Caplan ‏ @caplannfl

    #Panthers announced they traded RB Mike Goodson to the Raiders for G/T Bruce Campbell.


    Big Wiz to Greg Knapp & Frank Pollack “Bruce Campbell is a pvssy. get rid of him – not worthy of a playbook”

  • BewareofRaiders

    Wow good luck campbell and since we got a another rb looks like the O maybe set and the drsft picks will all be for defense?

  • Plunder

    So just B.Campbell? No draft picks included, I hope.

    Straight player for player trades are kind of rare these days.

  • Tjbwall

    Jason La Canfora‏@JasonLaCanforaReply

    Panthers traded running back Mike Goodson to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for offensive tackle Bruce Campbell.

  • Tjbwall

    no draft picks included

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    RaiderRetribution Says:
    March 30th, 2012 at 12:20 pm
    Re: going back to school; you said Reggie only cut two, I listed four that I knew of that were actual cuts.

    I guess I should have been more specific/ clear and said we cut 2 players who were starters at their position last year.
    Boss had less snaps than the other TEs
    Henderson and Eugene were backups.
    CJ was injured and had family issues last season, and we had to start other players.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Nice trade – We had some extra OTs and they had extra RBs a 4th for a 4th about same ages.

  • Tjbwall

    Who would have known that other teams even knew who Bruce Campbell was

  • RaiderRockstar

    new post

  • DJ Johnny

    454.Sullivan44 Says:
    March 30th, 2012 at 12:39 pm
    I voted Raiders just because so many of you are acting like this is life or death. But I think the ‘00 Ravens are better than the ‘76 Raiders.

    It’s just a fun little thing for the fans and the Raider fans showed alot of support, which is cool.

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  • alzadoX

    Thanks Cork for the status update. The roster at Raiders.com confusing as it includes all of the unsigned free agents who played for Raiders in 2011 but probably won’t be back, this is more clear and addresses quality and role.

    While its probably true that “the Raiders roster for the 2012 season will be comprised mostly of players currently under contract”, expect many more players to be brought in and a lot of competition in training camp for starting & roster spots, especially on defense.

    Agree about most of our needs as stated in article (now added RB Goodson and LB Wheeler) except in a few cases

    RB – “The Raiders are set at running back if Allen and McKenzie feel as if [Taiwan] Jones is ready for a heightened role” – yeah, if he learns to block; plus he’s not exactly a short yardage runner. If Goodson fumbles, probably not well suited as goalline runner, ? as short yardage runner. Still need those roles filled. Could be Lonyae Miller or Rashawn Jackson will be the man they call on at goalline, and/or short yardage, or someone not yet on roster.

    FB – Richard Gordon can also play blocking FB and did well blocking before injury 2011

    TE – could use a red zone threat if not a starter. Hopefully Ausberry breaks out, but since college this guy has a rep of showing flashes of brilliance, then being hailed as a coming great, then not producing much. So, I’ll believe it when I see it. Boss wasn’t worth salary + concussions could end career, replacement level (Myers) not a big dropoff from 2011 Boss.

    WR – need possession receiver/ red zone threat. Sleeper is Eddie McGee–CP3 talking him up. Or clone Marcel Reece, line hims ups in slot or WR, FB, and maybe TE simultaneously. Derrick Jones is also on the roster — UDFA rookie last year blew out achilles tendon in training camp and was on IR. Maybe Taiwan Jones could also line up in the slot at times.

    NT (also run stuffing DT) – “the Raiders are without a proven nose tackle, which they will need if they intend to play a 3-4 scheme. Ivey and Bryant are prime candidates if the Raiders can’t find, or afford, a veteran free agent” – I really doubt Dez Bryant is a NT. He’s improving steadily, he’s strong, and he’s learning to bend his knees and play lower, but he’s too tall for NT; he’s best as LDE, 3-T/penetrating DT, or 3-4 DE.

    NT would probably double as run stuffing DT. Last year in Denver, Allen played one DT on center’s nose even with 4-3 front. NT played on move a little rather than pure space eater type. Currently, Raiders have lots of high level DL talent but much the same kind 3-T penetrating DT/ 3-4 DE/ LDE best position (Kelly/ Seymour/ Bryant/ Houston) + potential stud DE Sho’Nasty. Raiders also could also use a situational edge rusher at DE or starting LB or hybrid.

    Really need to see what kind of Defense Allen/ Tarver want to play, who does/doesn’t fit and leaves, before determining needs on defense. Would like more articles on this. Are assistant coaches available to media yet? Defense should be better if coaching better – neither could get much worse than 2011.

    Even with addition of Wheeler, more LBs needed, hopefully draft an edge rusher or two; and add more LBs to compete for playing time/ roster/ starting spot. Travis Goethel looks like a backup to me, though he is tough and versatile and can play any LB position + cover kicks if healthy. Tactfully could say he’s smart, tough, and disciplined takes on blocks rather than running around them and out of position. Truthfully would have to say he gets blocked out of more plays than he makes, and lacks athletic ability to avoid blocks. Didn’t really impress vs. second string scrubs in preseason 2011 before blowing out ACL. After mediocre (unless/ until they improve) starting trio, only other depth is 1st year practice squadder Ihenacho, who could be an edge rusher/ DE hybrid. Help Wanted.

    CB need at least 3 good ones, if Bartell makes comeback we have at least 1 + several players to compete and push each other. CB Draftee makes sense. Vet wise, could use a legit projected starter but probably too expensive.

    FS behind Huff looks thin on paper, depending on what guys listed as generic “DB” on roster can do. Could re-sign Giordano too

    As far as special teams, we can develop core kick coverage guys in house. If we switch to 3-4 defense that also means more LBs on roster, more team speed, more special teams potential. As far as gunners/ faster guys Chimdi Chewka played some gunner last year before he got hurt, and Pat Lee apparently can play gunner well. Goodson supposedly good on kick coverage, Ausberry showed flashes etc etc

    Punt returner – Denarius Moore still learning how to return punts. Taiwan Jones mostly KOR in college. Jacoby Ford may be used more here.

    Like what new Reggime is doing. Still have draft, rookie UDFAs, June 1st cuts and late market/ bargain free agents. Expect a lot of value/ budget players to be brought in to compete at unsettled positions, especially on defense.

  • alzadoX

    Marley Bob Says:
    April 1st, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    alzadoX Says:

    Good intelligent conversation today

    Just throwing this out, as I have rarely watched Jay Ratliff play and can’t envision his style, but off the descriptions given here, could Lamarr Houston play a similar role in the middle of Raiders D-Line?.

    With fresh minded coaches on defense, a lot of talented players on DL but not much cohesion or production in last few years, I wonder if they will reshuffle the deck more than we may imagine.
    Alzado, good question/idea.
    I watched Ratliff play a few times, he’s really good, I think Desmond Bryant is the one guy who may be able to turn into that type of player.
    At 6′4 287 Ratliff, like Bryant (6′6 290) is big but lean and strong and looks nothing like a NT.
    that’s interesting, because in his article on the State of the Raiders a few days ago, Cork said Bryant could play NT

    Bryant is certainly lean and strong, but he still occasionally (getting much better though) plays too upright. Does Ratliff do the same? Bryant is certainly an improving player with a lot of potential, but I have thought of him more as a LDE (SSDE), 3-4 DE, or 3-T DT but maybe you and Cork are on to something.
    The guy they had in Denver last year, Broderick Bunkley was built more like Houston and played on the move some, not a line sitting block magnet like a lot of the older style NT. Broncos played 4-3 hybrid under Allen, with Bunkley lined up on center’s nose. I wonder if Houston could do a Bunkley? Bunkley paid like $5 M per year as FA by NO Saints

  • alzadoX

    DJ Johnny Says:
    March 30th, 2012 at 10:35 pm
    454.Sullivan44 Says:
    March 30th, 2012 at 12:39 pm
    I voted Raiders just because so many of you are acting like this is life or death. But I think the ‘00 Ravens are better than the ‘76 Raiders.

    It’s just a fun little thing for the fans and the Raider fans showed alot of support, which is cool.


    1976 Oakland Raiders DL Otis Sistrunk would have eaten Ravens QB Trent Dilfer as an afternoon snack, then let out steam from his head

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