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Raiders making most of their players’ talents

When faulting the Raiders for squandering five second-half leads this season or failing to blow out any teams, perhaps it bears taking into account what coach Dennis Allen has at his disposal.
Take the Dallas Cowboys game, for example, in which the Raiders started Matt McGloin at quarterback, Jeron Mastrud at tight end, Andre Holmes and Rod Streater at wide receiver and Marcel Reece at fullback.
The common denominator? All entered the NFL as undrafted free agents. Then there’s running back Rashad Jennings, a seventh-round draft pick.
That doesn’t even factor in the defense. The point is, it should pass as more surprising that the Raiders have been competitive in all but two games so far and not that they won only four of their first 12 games.
It also bodes well that general manager Reggie McKenzie and his scouting department have the eye to spot players such as McGloin and Streater, as they did each of the past two seasons, as a means of bolstering the roster.
Injuries and subpar play by players counted upon to play starring roles, in part, helped thrust Streater and McGloin into starting roles. Their desire, work ethic and overlooked talent enabled them to succeed once given an opportunity.
“When you don’t get drafted, that kind of puts you back,” Streater said. “But it also gets you that edge. You want to work hard and you always feel like you got something to prove.”
Streater and McGloin made immediate impacts once they received starting gigs. For Holmes, it took until the Cowboys game for him to take what he has done for months on the practice field and exhibition games into a regular-season game. And this is his third season.
He was with the Cowboys last season and also spent time with the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots. Holmes said
“It’s taken me three years to be able to do it and it’s just the development and me figuring out the skills that I need when I’m out on the field,” Holmes said. “Part of it could be opportunity and things like that, but I mean, I wouldn’t say that I wasn’t doing it before or anything like that. It was just the right time.”
Holmes sat out the first four games while serving a league suspension. He spent the next seven games either on the inactive list, on the sideline as a backup or getting a few reps here and there.
Inconsistent play by rookie Brice Butler, second-year receiver Juron Criner — he’s now on season-ending injured reserve — and Jacoby Ford, along with an injury to regular starter Denarius Moore, created the opportunity for Holmes to shine.
Streater said he and others aren’t surprised to see Holmes enjoy a breakout game. Holmes caught seven passes for 136 yards against the Cowboys, or more than he produced in his career to that point.
“He’s been doing this way back since camp,” Streater said. “The four-game suspension kind of threw him off, but you see he goes out there and makes plays. He might not be the fastest but if you put the ball in his area, he’s going to come down with it. He’s very impressive.”
And it’s just as impressive that the Raiders now have a few receivers to carry over into next season and beyond. Ford is in the final year of his contract, and he’s unlikely to be offered a new contract. Criner isn’t a sure bet to be asked back, either, even though he’s still under contract.

– Jennings wasn’t permitted to speak with the media Monday, even though he was in the locker room, because he’s still suffering the effects from a concussion. That’s in keeping with the league rules for players going through the league concussion protocol.
For what it’s worth, Jennings was smiling and playing around with his teammates, which bodes well for a quick return.

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Steve Corkran

  • SnBG

    The normal high is 40 degrees with a normal low of 25. At kickoff around 6:30 p.m., the temperature would be about 36 degrees with typically a northwest wind of 8 to 16 mph, creating an AccuWeather RealFeel® temperature of 30.

  • Jim Jesus

    Thanks SnBG on the “Weather Porch”

  • SnBG

    I’ve read that that time is favorable to snow storms. It’s possible.

  • RaiderGuy50

    exactly- I’m originally from upstate NY and if windy, good guess on mph, it will definitely affect the kicking and throwing game! It will feel cold!!

  • DJ Johnny

    This is the time of the year I have to look at who’s gonna be in the playoffs and thru the process of elimination pick out which team I dislike the least to hoist the Lombardi.
    Last yr it actually worked out having the Ravens do it.
    This yr I don’t have to worry about GB and Pittsburgh so that’s nice. As far as order of elimination i’d like to see Denver out most..then:
    -SF
    -KC
    -New England
    -Dallas
    …those are the biggies I want gone as quickly as possible.

  • SnBG

    Interesting about the Niners, they are getting stronger now and could be the only challenge to the Hawks. They have one final game this year and I bet it will be a doosie.

  • RaiderGuy50

    I like ur list – and agree with Snbg- SF may be only real NFC challenger to the hawks.

  • DJ Johnny

    I list the niners as one team I want gone but Seattle may have to stick around to make that happen.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I bet that crack team of rednecks is mere weeks away from deciphering the Disqus registration and log in puzzle.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    KC 1st! But they’re already imploding. Warms my heart.

  • R8erEduc8er

    The 2 teams with the best records (Seattle and Den) are actually the 2 teams I’ll be pulling for. Sorry, I’m a Manning fan. Love and respect his QB skills. Also love Seattle’s style of play. I think those 2 teams would put on the best SB performance.

  • Blackholepriest

    Seattle would dominate that game.

  • Blackholepriest

    Carolina Panthers will be tougher to stop than anyone thinks.

  • DJ Johnny

    ..and to think early in the season Rivera was # 1 on the coaches hot seat.

  • RaidingTexas

    I’d rather see SF win than any of the others DJ listed. Absolutely do not want to see the Cowgirls win it. If they make it to the Super Bowl, I hope their plane crashes on the way to NY. That’s how much I hate them.

  • Blackholepriest

    The quickest road to the playoffs is by way of a great defense. If Reggie has a brain finish build the defense FIRST!

  • SnBG

    That’s a good point. Panthers are 1rst in points allowed per game. 13 pts per. Seattle is 2 nd in points allowed.15.5 points per. Seattle has the edge in Offense and the Panthers may play them in Seattle. Seattle will win that game.

  • DJ Johnny

    I know. So much hype and coverage for a team with ONE playoff win since 1996?
    Where I live they are ALWAYS the featured game it seems..and I live nowhere near Texas.
    Also..Denver. I don’t know if there was one game that wasn’t televised where i’m at.

  • 10centsworth

    Hey, notice who he went after in FAgency last year? Geez. Maybe some wannabe CPA can pin this down but it appears to me we got the dough to get 3/4 QUALITY FAs, on each side of the line. I like what we got to work with as a nucleus, and what I see happening re that nucleus.

  • Blackholepriest

    My formula for a certain playoff team next year is build the defense getting TWO DE’s another LB another CB and FS. Add a vet WR and more Oline depth.

    We have there young QB I would get my starter from amongst them whomever develops would be my guy going forward we have over used picks on QB maybe add a vet to the mix.

    You have more than enough talent at TE if you add Reece, a vet WR would do wonders for these kids.

    Do those things correctly and this team has enough to be a playoff contenders. Miss on something and IMO you’re making excuses continues………period

  • The_Judge37

    We got one more Eastcoast game, then 3 homegames vs the division (San Diego counts as a homegame). Can this team back to back wins this season?

  • Blackholepriest

    Nine new starters on defense and he forgot to get a edge rusher???

  • RaidingTexas

    The best chance for B2B wins will be in the next three games IMO.

  • Blackholepriest

    The record does not speak well of his efforts.

  • RaiderDebo

    Lol! Agree with some of this, but what’s your point about their 2nd round QB and 1st round CB??? It could be argued that both those guys are the worst at their positions in the league.

  • SnBG

    He was. You never know. He opened up the offense and started gambling more.

  • RaidingTexas

    Roach, Jenkins, Porter – they’ve all played well.

  • Gdog

    Houston built a great defense and might have the first pick though. I guess it doesn’t matter until we find a great QB. Look at GB now. They stink as much as the Raiders without Rodgers.

  • DJ Johnny

    If Reggie is true to building it like GB don’t be surprised if he doesn’t go after a BIG name FA or two.
    He mentioned Reggie White as being one of the most important acquisitions they made in GB to get over the hump. Then he said “of course it didn’t hurt to have a hof qb like Brett Favre”.

    He also mentioned he’d like to get guys like Woodson in his prime if he had the money.

    GB may be built on “homegrown” talent but they also have the highest paid defensive player in the league w/ Clay Mathews and the highest paid offensive player in Aaron Rodgers.

    Since Reggie has basically said to look at the “GB WAY” as a blueprint for how he intends to build the Raiders.

  • 10centsworth

    add a top blocking FB and we can “dream” about Reece and TP moving. I got no problem with drafting a QB, depending of course how high and how we look at the end of the year. RB? We got a nucleus, and a quality FA can be had relatively cheaply. Same with guard. You can ALWAYS use a quality LB or DE…so get them. I think OT is gonna work its way out. I see Taiwan making a huge stride next year and if a top CB pops up, that would be a beautiful thing, altho resigning the two 1st game starters would be ok. THEN we got the draft. Gee…I’m smiling thinking about it.

  • SnBG

    Not bad. Only question to me is the QB’s. If we do as you say it could work.

  • Gdog

    With Wilson playing so well, I think Seattle will bulldoze everyone… this might not even be close. And who hates Sea?

  • _Mista_

    Love watching you 2 tr0lls take a piss on each other.

  • SnBG

    Shawn Peyton is an interesting coach. He changes the off season work regime to a style more like the one he uses and he orders special earplugs for his offense. I didn’t know the NFL would let you do that with the plugs.

  • 10centsworth

    ‘hole, I really suggest you incorporate in your thinking WHAT we came into last FAgency and draft with. Why do you choose to ignore that? The guy is gonna get at last another year. Hold your water.

  • Gdog

    The quickest way to the playoffs actually is to find a hot QB. Look at Indy and Wash last year, and now Philly this year with Foles.

    But I think Reggie will just put all his eggs in the McGloin basket…

  • Blackholepriest

    You cannot go two years without a two game win streak. And feel positive about anything you have done. It wreaks of the inability to harness momentum. Or ineptitude as far as solid schemes and methods. Inconsistent production and a lack of confidence in direction.

  • _Mista_

    Edge rusher is least of our problems. We have a kicker that misses almost 50% of his kicks and looks like he never tried an onside kick in his fat sorry life. The O-line is atrocious. And the top draft picks face planted. DMAC can’t play 3 games without coming up limp. No FB on the roster. Missing a #1 WR.

  • Gdog

    There is no reason not to. He can easily outbid every team except MAYBE the Bears. There are a ton of teams in cap hell next year… I looked on Spotrac.

  • 10centsworth

    Watching you two debate is absolutely amusing.

  • Rifflicks

    do you know what salary cap limits mean?
    How about the word “priority”?

  • DJ Johnny

    They are in full panic mode in Chicago.
    Last nite they were talking how the Bears have only 30 players signed for next yr and how the roster will go thru an overhaul.
    Either Emery(GM) will try and sign a lot of those guys or like u said be major player in FA.

  • _Mista_

    L Houston did a adequate job. With all the holes you chose to call him out?

  • Rifflicks

    you can’t make sense in back to back posts

  • http://Raiders.com/ Dan78

    And that thing called Gingivitis…..

  • _Mista_

    We don’t debate. I talk at him and he cowers like a poodle. We used to debate years ago but every time we did it didn’t turn out well for him. same goes for OakGlen/SeymourBush.

  • Jim Jesus

    Well that is ONE word for it!

  • hwnrdr

    He asked Brett Favre

  • The_Judge37

    If the Donkeys rest their starters, we should have a shot at all four, unless DA throws the game so John Fox can secure the top seed.

  • Blackholepriest

    Correct me if I am wrong but even the Jags and TB who were 0-8 both won back to back games afterwards. Am I wrong?