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Raiders makeover continues in earnest

By Steve Corkran
Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 at 4:43 pm in Oakland Raiders.

My, how things have changed in such a short period of time for the Raiders. The latest move came today, when the Raiders waived second-year offensive tackle Joseph Barksdale, one of Oakland’s two third-round picks in the 2011 NFL draft, and signed veteran defensive end Andre Carter.
It’s just the latest in a growing series of moves by first-year general manager Reggie McKenzie in his reshaping of the Raiders 53-man roster.
Since he arrived, McKenzie has jettisoned six players selected by the Raiders under late managing general partner Al Davis between 2005-11. Here’s a look at those players:

Player Position Year drafted/round Transaction
DeMarcus Van Dyke Cornerback 2011/3rd Waived
Joseph Barksdale Offensive tackle 2011/3rd Waived
Chimdi Chekwa Cornerback 2011/4th Waived
Bruce Campbell Offensive tackle 2010/4th Traded
Louis Murphy Wide receiver 2009/4th Traded
Stanford Routt Cornerback 2005/2nd Waived

Of the aforementioned six, only Routt and Murphy produced in games on a consistent basis. McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen wasted little time in parting ways with the four others.
It remains to be seen whether this amounts to change for change’s sake or whether McKenzie and Allen are improving the roster.
Allen is convinced that these are moves that make the Raiders more competitive.
“Eventually there’s a point in time where you move on from everybody,” Allen said. “It’s never an easy decision. There’s always a lot of thought that goes in. There’s only 53 spots that we have on the active roster, and we’ve got to try and do whatever we can to fill those spots with the best 53 guys that we think give us the best chance to win on Sundays.”
Barksdale and Campbell didn’t get much of an opportunity to show what they can do in games. Chekwa remains on the practice squad, but he keeps getting passed over for other cornerbacks. Van Dyke played sparingly last season before he was waived and then signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

– Allen said wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was at the team facility today, undergoing tests to see how he is recovering from the concussion he suffered Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
By the way, Steelers safety Ryan Mundy was fined $21,000 by the league for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Heyward-Bey early in the fourth quarter.
Heyward-Bey did not practice. However, he participated in team meetings and is on his way to a full recovery. It’s unlikely that he will play Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

– Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp admitted during offseason workouts that tight end was a position of concern entering training camp. Not anymore.
Through three games, Brandon Myers, David Ausberry and Richard Gordon have combined for 19 receptions for 263 and one touchdown. Kevin Boss, Myers and Ausberry had only six receptions for 62 yards and no touchdowns through three games last season.
“That’s been a position that was a little bit of a question mark coming into the season,” Allen said. “So the fact that we’ve gotten some production out of those guys, and all of them have had production in their own way and they’ve brought different aspects to our offense, that’s been a positive.”
Myers has caught all 15 passes thrown his way the first three games. Others might be surprised at how well he has played. Yet, Myers said in recent years that he was confident he could play at a high level if given the chance.
That chance came and went last season, when the Raiders signed Kevin Boss one day after incumbent starter Zach Miller signed with the Seattle Seahawks.
“You never know what’s going to happen, especially with a new organization and new coaches and things like that,” Myers said. “For them to do that, it was on us to step up in the games and make plays. So far, we’ve done that.”
Quarterback Carson Palmer raves about Myers, saying he is faster than people think and has the best hands on the team.
“He’s got unbelievable hands,” Palmer said. “He’s kind of a sleeper. … He makes diving catches, one-handed catches. You don’t ever see him drop anything.”
Palmer said Myers also understands how to set up routes, find the soft spot in zone coverage and get in position to make plays.
“Just, really, a solid, all-around player,” Palmer said. “And he can block too, which a lot of times you get a guy that’s really good at one thing and struggles at the other. Brandon’s really balanced in the passing and running game.”

– Outside linebacker Aaron Curry is on the physically unable to perform list for at least three more weeks with sore knees. On Wednesday, Curry worked off to the side, while his teammates practiced.
“He was out here running around again today,” Allen said. “We still got some time with him. He’s looking better and whenever we get to that point in time where we got to make a decision, then we’ll be ready to make the decision.”
Curry declined an interview request today, saying he isn’t allowed to talk about his injury.
If so, seems rather curious that he Tweeted the other day how treatment he is receiving from someone in Danville is having a positive effect.

– People are quick to criticize Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for not being the same player he was with the Indianapolis Colts and before the four neck surgeries.
For our money, we’ll listen to Broncos coach John Fox and Allen.
Fox: “The people that look at the tape and study it would think it’s semi-comical,” Fox said of people questioning Manning’s arm strength.
Allen: “I’m not falling into that trap,” Allen said. “He’s Peyton Manning. He’s a Hall of Fame quarterback. There’s no way that we’re going to, in any way, say that he’s not the same quarterback that he’s been. I’ve watched the tape. He’s still an outstanding quarterback. He’s operating that offense, and I don’t really see much of a dropoff of where he’s been before. He’s still an outstanding quarterback.”
And Manning’s assessment?
“I have our coaches’ analysis that kind of is between us, the players and the coaches, and we have things that we’re working on, and things that we’re trying to correct and things we’re trying to improve on,” Manning said. “So, I’m not really into giving an after-three-game analysis, or sharing that publicly anyway.”
Raiders middle linebacker Rolando McClain grew up watching Manning. He said he didn’t realize the full scope of Manning’s mastery of the offense until he played against him.
“He’s just amazing,” McClain said. “As a kid, I watched always Peyton Manning and the Colts, but I never played him. Then you get in the NFL and you’re like, ‘Does he really make this many checks?’ He does. It’s crazy. I was amazed. He’s an amazing player.
“They had a rough start to the season but, at the end of the day, he’s still Peyton Manning. He still has all the ability in the world. We have a good game plan. We have to go out there and execute and do some things he hasn’t seen and make it kind of hard for him. You just have to execute and play your best.”

– The New England Patriots used the No. 6 pick in the 2001 NFL draft on defensive lineman Richard Seymour. One pick later, the 49ers selected defensive end Andre Carter.
Now, both players are on the Raiders. Seymour said the addition of Carter gives the Raiders more juice in their defensive line rotation.
“Definitely some leadership, for sure,” Seymour said. :He’ll be instrumental. He’s a proven guy in this league. Obviously, it will take some times to get his legs under him, but he’s a guy that’s shown he can rush the passer and that will be essential for us.”
Carter worked out twice for the Raiders before signing today. He recorded 10 sacks for the Patriots last season despite missing the final two regular-season games with a quadriceps injury.
He said he is ready to roll right now, though it’s unclear whether he will be in shape to play as soon as this Sunday.
“If I wasn’t ready, then I wouldn’t be here,” Carter said. “Obviously they signed me, and I was glad to be a part of this great organization, and we’ll just take it day by day.”
Carter said he also worked out for the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams, with the Patriots in the mix, too. Ultimately, he decided to return to his Bay Area roots.
“I had a lot of friends who said, ‘You crossed over to the dark side,’ ” Carter said. “Everything comes full circle. Where I’m at in my career, why not be back in the Bay Area where it all started for me? A lot of good memories from the time I played at Oak Grove High School to being a Cal Bear to being a 49er. Being the last draft class of Bill Walsh is something I hold dear and just continue to play this game.”
Defensive lineman Desmond Bryant said he is fortunate to have learned from the likes of Greg Ellis, Gerard Warren, Seymour and Tommy Kelly. Now, he’s looking forward to gleaning some pointers from Carter, too.
“As a defensive lineman, we always like to have more guys that can get the job done,” Bryant said. “When you have those guys in there, you’re not going to have to play as much, so that will help you not get tired as much and help you be more effective for the entire game. So, yeah, anytime you can add to a rotation, especially pass-rush situations, the better off you are as a defense and team.”
Carter recorded 76 sacks his first 11 seasons. He also played for the Patriots and Washington Redskins. The Raiders recorded only three sacks in their first three games.

– Raiders free safety Michael Huff picked a fine time to convert to cornerback. He faced Ben Roethlisberger in his first game, last Sunday. This Sunday, he gets to face Manning.
“Got thrown in the fire, kind of learned a lot last week,” Huff said. “Had my growing pains on a few plays, obviously should have played better, got to hold up better on the outside. But luckily we got the W and that week’s over, so I can learn from that film and get better this week.”
Huff started at cornerback at Texas quite a bit his freshman and sophomore seasons. By the tail end of his collegiate career, he played mostly safety.
Allen said he expects Huff to make strides this week, building off the things he did against the Steelers. Huff said he already noticed that he played too far off the receiver at times.
“It’s been so long since I was out there,” Huff said, “and on game time, I looked back and I lined up sometimes 10, 12 yards off, when I really wasn’t probably paying attention to it. But this week, I’ll be more focused on my depth on certain things so definitely this week will be better.”
Former Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha texted Huff afterward and offered a stern critique, Huff said.
“He has high expectations for me, so he didn’t cut me any slack,” Huff said.

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  • Al_is_theraiders

    1 freakn run? If that was the mark kwame harris is available…

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    Also, the Pats have released Kellen Winslow, at his request.

  • bcz24

    The number 1 problem I see here over and over and over… the over-estimation of our own talent.

  • fingers

    Yep… Peyton’s been starting slow.. Then coming back in the 4th… I thought it was a good sign that the Raider D held the steelers scoreless in the 4th and finally pressured Rothlesberger ..

  • bcz24

    451.Al_is_theraiders Says:
    September 27th, 2012 at 11:33 am
    1 freakn run? If that was the mark kwame harris is available…
    ************
    Sure thing man. 1 run… thats it. All he has done. He literally hasnt even stepped on the field for every other play. Brilliant analysis… wish I would have seen it sooner.

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    Bcz24 Says:
    September 27th, 2012 at 11:34 am
    The number 1 problem I see here over and over and over… the over-estimation of our own talent.

    =========================================

    As evidenced by our high-priced starters leaving and signing elsewhere as either low-paid starters or outright backups.

  • bcz24

    I was just refering to the members of this blog… not the way Al ran the team!

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    Bcz24 Says:
    September 27th, 2012 at 11:38 am
    I was just refering to the members of this blog… not the way Al ran the team!

    ===============================================

    But it fits either way. Look at all the people on this blog who thought Jason Campbell was the greatest thing since sliced bread, Louis Murphy was a world-beater and Bruce Campbell an All-Pro in the making.

  • HayesDaze37

    Charlie — If you don’t think there were coaching mistakes made in the last month, you’ve lost your mind. And…if you think schemes and coaching didn’t directly reflect on the field the last 3-games (more, if you count the “useless” but ugly pre-season), then you know less about football than you profess to.

    The only way we should quiet our critiques of the Coaches is if we win, and win in strong fashion. Even then, we should NEVER stop criticizing the coaching. Why do they get a free pass?

    AL didn’t…Mark won’t…and ReggieMac and the Coaches aren’t immune. When they become perfect at their jobs, then we should stop the critique. Since that’s never happening, I’ll continue to call it the way I see it:

    This Coaching staff shows promise as a whole…but that’s all it is right now. Promise…with the hope that more moves work-out than those that don’t. Even then though, it doesn’t mean we have to agree with all of them.

  • McFaddens_Sneakers

    RaiderDuck Says:
    September 27th, 2012 at 11:40 am
    Bcz24 Says:
    September 27th, 2012 at 11:38 am
    I was just refering to the members of this blog… not the way Al ran the team!

    ===============================================

    But it fits either way. Look at all the people on this blog who thought Jason Campbell was the greatest thing since sliced bread, Louis Murphy was a world-beater and Bruce Campbell an All-Pro in the making

    =====================
    the reason campbell got props is because he is the only raider Qb in the last 10 years to have a winning record. and we needed that (i mean he had more wins than loses Not a team winning record. Murph got pumped up cause DHB didt do shnat in his first year and murph made some plays. either way they both gone im cool with palmer and next year WRs will be better that this years.

  • SaintKaufman

    Only 3 starters this year on the Broncos defense were starters last year under Dennis Allen.
    Not as much as an advantage as maybe we thought.

  • Charlie

    The reason scheme can make a difference is when you keep it in place for more than 15 minutes.
    You can not change it every year thinking that will solve the problem.
    GOOD PLAYERS SOLVE THE PROBLEM!PLAYERS ARE 80% OF THE GAME.
    Scheme continuity is important but any scheme needs good players to be effective.
    Our players have been pathetic. If you do not see what Reggie is having to do to simply allow us to field a team you are delusional.

    Turdell Sands, Gerard Warren, Sapp, Gibril Wilson, Webster Slaughter, Javon Walker, Aaron Brooks, Jamarcus Russell etc.

    Pathetic. Lay the blame where it should be.

  • McFaddens_Sneakers

    Agreed saint.
    im sure they change things up against us knowing tha Allen knows their schemes. as for the offence is a totally different offence. I mean they went from tebow to manning. nuff said

  • SaintKaufman

    God, think about that for a sec.

    From Tebow to Manning.

    WOW!

  • SaintKaufman
  • lefty12

    I hate to break this to some of you but Al Davis died last year.He isn’t coming back and that is a good thing considering the product he gave us the last 10 years.Instead of making knee-jerk reactions to what is happening now,give Reggie,DA,and Tarver a little time to see what they can do.

  • DMAC

    Good afternoon peoples!

  • DMAC

    We will win in mile high.
    DMAC will run crazy over these overrated Donks!

  • DMAC

    Operation neck snapper is in full-effect!!!

  • DMAC

    Its cool…
    I talk to myself at times anyways

  • hwnrdr

    Hey DMAC!!!

  • lefty12

    Al Davis controlled the team for almost 50 years and gave us 3 SB trophies,yet you expect Reggie and his staff to win one in his 1st year.High expectations especially coming in to a place where the cupboard is fairly bare.

  • DMAC

    What up Hwnrdr

    A’s losing 7-2
    FK!

  • inonewordraider

    Steve Corkran‏@CorkOnTheNFL

    Recently signed defensive end Andre Carter is at practice. He is wearing No. 97.

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  • DMAC

    I hope Carter has something left in the tank. We could really use his pass rushing specialty.

  • lefty12

    7-4 DMAC

  • DMAC

    A’s 4
    Tex 7

  • DMAC

    We need to try to hold them at 7 Lefty. Our offense is clicking right now.

  • lefty12

    I agree.Down 3 in Texas is doable.

  • raiderinparadise

    Goooooooood morning raider nation !!!!!
    Its Thursday and I’m already itching for the donkeys.

    Andre Carter, So’oto …. will they be a pass rush turning point? Andre Carter will be in on 3rd down I assume Sunday. So’oto might be a speical teams insert?
    Brandien going to get an DB action?

  • L.A. Raider Dave

    I think Rolando needs to put a hit on Manning like Joe Mays put on Schaub.

  • raiderinparadise

    L.A. Raider Dave Says:
    September 27th, 2012 at 12:25 pm
    I think Rolando needs to put a hit on Manning like Joe Mays put on Schaub.

    ——–

    Ahhhhhhh, the battle of the weak necks. Manning with the injured neck and Rolando with his skinny brontosaurus neck.

    The anxiety is killing me.

  • hwnrdr

    7-4….yup I agree, doable in Texas!

  • https://twitter.com/Albert_B_Paine Albert Bigelow Paine

    L.A. Raider Dave Says:
    September 27th, 2012 at 12:25 pm
    I think Rolando needs to put a hit on Manning like Joe Mays put on Schaub.
    ——–
    Yeah, that’s just what we need. Give the refs a reason to make the Raiders the most penalized team again. Raiders need to make a good impression this week.

  • L.A. Raider Dave

    I dont care what the refs impression of our team is. It never mattered to them in the past anyways.

  • HayesDaze37

    Charlie Says:
    September 27th, 2012 at 11:58 am
    GOOD PLAYERS SOLVE THE PROBLEM!PLAYERS ARE 80% OF THE GAME.
    Our players have been pathetic. If you do not see what Reggie is having to do to simply allow us to field a team you are delusional.
    …/…
    Pathetic. Lay the blame where it should be.

    ——————-

    Who says I don’t blame Al for his mistakes? They’re totally different subjects. Even though Al made many, what makes you think ReggieMac hasn’t or won’t make plenty of mistakes? That’s just not being realistic…and it has nothing to do with me being delusional. Simply because Reggie’s made changes, it’s delusional to think they are all good ones. That goes not just for Reggie, but for any GM.

    Not agreeing with every move Reggie/Dennis Allen/Tarver/Knapp make doesn’t make me a hater. It makes me someone who cares about seeing the best product on the field…and I’ll wait to proclaim it a complete success until we see more W’s. And I was expecting (hoping) for more W’s with Al, too, but we know how that went.

    Now that Al’s gone, I won’t even compare Reggie (or anyone) to him…I will compare Reggie to other GM’s, and to my expectations of him in his position. So far, I think he’s doing a fine job…and his plan deserves a chance to play-out. However, I’ll continue to call it the way I see it…far more objectively than many — Charlie — are willing to do.

    When they do well, I’ll call it. When they don’t, I’ll call it. And when it’s too early to tell, like now, I’ll call that too.

  • dr_robert

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    September 27th, 2012 at 4:08 am
    I’m pretty sure we all circled Week 4 on the schedule when Manning signed with Dungver this offseason. Dennis Allen wants to beat his old team, too.

    Well, it’s finally here and both teams are 1-2.

    OPERATION NECK SNAPPER!!

    ************************
    let’s not talk about snappers

  • dr_robert

    for all of u fantasy gurus, i’m giving u my intuition/knowledge pickup of the week, before it’s too late. jamie harper. who u say? 5′ 11″ 233 rb for……the titans. chris johnson has 45 yards this year. that’s correct. no need to check. that’s a cool average of 15 yards per game for u math wizards. so, when he starts meekly running into his o-line’s backs with his arm stuck out, while saying “no means no”, at some point soon, as the coach realizes 1-3 is on the horizon, he will look to his bench, where he will find mr. harper, a bulldozer from clemson with i think 3 carries to his name. but a guy like that could start pushing the pile and getting goal line looks. cj’s career is just about done.

  • raiderinparadise

    Tarver, the mad chemist needs to impress me this week…Mannning had been dinking-dunking for long drives. Needs to scheme a good zone disquise to bottle-up the flats and close the pocket with the line.

  • The Beeech Dawg

    YO HOLLA BACK TO THE BEEECH DIGGITY DAWG

    Whut up Blog Playas, still gettin’ my party swerve on here at the Catamaran Mission Beach.

    Rasta Ganja – my ocean smooth reggae band – played a killer show last night at the beach volleyball courts in our bathrobes

    I popped about 1000 boner-dawgs checking out the talent while I was busting out our hits

    Afterward we hit Moray’s Lounge where I dry humped a hippie against a tiki fountain

    Then we had a quick Pina Colada drinking contest before taking the jam back to the suite. That’s when the Magnums started flying and I positioned many hizzies into the classic doggy style position

    Shout out to USA, lovin’ Lady Liberty