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Observations from OTA today

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Remember wide receiver Juron Criner? Anyone? Yes, that Juron Criner, the one who burst on the scene two years ago and flashed during offseason workouts as if he was going to be the next Cris Carter.
Somewhere along the way to stardom, Criner crashed back to reality, was seldom used his rookie season and almost vanished last season.
He got passed by undrafted free agent Rod Streater, unheralded Andre Holmes and seventh-round draft pick Brice Butler.
Fast forward to today, and Criner looked like the Criner who caught anything he got his hands on for several practices his rookie season.
On Monday, Criner made a handful of eye-opening catches despite tight coverage, including a few in which he left his feet. Far and away, Criner looked like the best receiver on the field.
Before we get carried away again, it’s important to remember that Criner failed to duplicate his jaw-dropping feats in training camp his rookie season.
Still, Criner is a sight to see when he is at his best. Perhaps that’s what coach Dennis Allen was trying to bring out in Criner last season when he suggested that Criner needed to work harder and be more consistent in practice.
It’s also possible that Criner didn’t fully get the message until last season slipped away and now he is worried about his career slipping away.

— Last year’s offensive line, when everyone was healthy, featured: Jared Veldheer, Khalif Barnes, Stefen Wisniewski, Mike Brisiel and Tony Pashos.
Veldheer signed with the Arizona Cardinals in free agency. The Raiders cut Brisiel and opted against re-sighing Pashos.
In their place, the Raiders signed Donald Penn, Austin Howard and Kevin Boothe from the free agent market. Now that the dust has settled, here’s how the starting line projects, from left to right: Penn, Barnes, Wisniewski, Howard and Menelik Watson.

— Derek Carr made several nice throws into tight windowns in red-zone drills Monday. Befitting a rookie, Carr also misfired on a couple of passes, including one in which his pass sailed directly off the hands of cornerback Taiwan Jones in the back of the end zone.
All in all, it’s difficult to assess quarterback play when there isn’t contact and defenders aren’t there to wave their arms, bat down passes and make life more difficult in the pocket.
Therefore, you look for accuracy, arm strength, tightness of spiral, footwork, decision-making, among other things, when breaking down quarterbacks at this time of the season.
To that end, Carr, projected starter Matt Schaub and last season’s part-time starter Matt McGloin fared well today. If you’ll recall, it was about this time last season when Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor and the other quarterbacks struggled mightily.
General manager Reggie McKenzie dismissed the criticism, which, as it turned out, was spot on and a harbinger for the regular season.

— Allen remains steadfast in his approach that he is going to put the best players on the field when the regular season starts. Hence, every position is up for grabs right now.
Second-year linebacker Sio Moore, therefore, is being looked at potentially as a starter at the weak-side position, with Khalil Mack sliding into Moore’s strong-side spot.
“I did this in college,” Moore said, when asked about the potential switch. “Moving from (strong side) to (weak side), that’s nothing abnormal. I just try to use my versatility and continue to show my coaches and my teammates that I can do anything on the field and I want to continue to work at it, no matter what position.”
What happens to Kevin Burnett in this scenario remains to be seen. He could become a backup, the Raiders could go to a 3-4 base defense or the Raiders could trade Burnett.
“When we get into games, the more things guys can do, the more we’re able to adjust,” Allen said in touting Moore’s versatility. “He has the skill set to play that position, and we’ll continue to work with him through the rest of OTAs and training camp. We’re going to put the best three guys on the field, and whoever those guys are will be on the field and play.”
Burnett wasn’t at last week’s OTA that the media were permitted to watch. He was here today but an ankle injury kept him out of practice. He was not available to the media.

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Steve Corkran

  • SaintKaufman

    ALL OF THEM!

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    At the very least

  • I see KC taking a big step back.
    Not sure the Donkeys and Chargers got any worse. Only hope is Peyton just gets real old by midseason and Philisha panics and turns it over all the time.

  • HELLSBELLS

    We beat S.D. with Pryor, not to unrealistic. K.C. lost a ton of talent in FA.

  • willy91137

    I hope he gets the Poo knocked out of him

  • willy91137

    He was good but not great

  • HELLSBELLS

    Would have been a beast 3 tech.

  • Guest123

    KC is a team that won 11 games last year. do you suppose they just fall off the face of the planet?
    SD had a rennresance year from P Rivers and looks even stronger than KC at the end of last year. They aren’t going anywhere either.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    I don’t think we’ll be blitzing as much as in the past.

    There will simply be a different 3rd or 4th pass rusher and Peyton and other QBs won’t know who it will be.

  • Que

    I find it interesting how the superbowl losers aren’t being looked at as falling off. It almost always happens. Thee manning is supposed to be able to play at this level forever

  • HELLSBELLS

    Maybe we should just forfeit.

  • Dakota

    So, were a ton of players cut on June 1st?

  • R8erEduc8er

    I certainly think we can beat them all, but my brain tells me it’s still the Mannings division to lose.

  • Return

    That’s why I’m getting nervous about all this blitzing talk because supposedly we have a pass rush now.

  • Dakota

    If KC releases Flowers, we will probably miss out on claiming him. I think our claim of that Browns WR dumps us to the back of the line in priority no?

  • HELLSBELLS

    Thats last year.

  • Guest123

    yes, I think a let down COULD happen. But the Broncos went out and did some high profile shopping in free agency. they set off an arms race for the AFC and it’s not a race restricted to the AFC West.

  • Not how it works.
    Was there even 2? I think Will Hill was the only one.

  • Que

    great….

  • Guest123

    oh hell no. I don’t mean to say we should just give up, but I also don’t get the expectations either.

  • go away.

  • SaintKaufman

    Stop listening to brain.

  • the super genius dr robert

    People always say that but there’s no evidence of it. And he’s far too light now.

  • willy91137

    The secret to football defense is rushed for and drop 9

  • Guest123

    If the Raiders finish third in the AFC West this year, I’ll be doing cartwheels.

  • JerryMcDonalds#1Fan

    Derrick Martin
    Rogers Gaines
    Stephen Goodin
    Josh Freeman
    Julian Posey
    Vaughn Martin

  • Que

    One Ol School hit on the Qb and its season over. And I pray where the team to do it. I’ve been a hater for a long time

  • JerryMcDonalds#1Fan

    is the waiver system screwy, like Dell’s last year?

  • Silver&BlackBleeder

    Looking forward to the Raiders coming to Oxnard when they practice with the Cowboys. They’ll be right down the street. Literally!

  • the super genius dr robert

    I like snapper

  • R8erEduc8er

    That’s 13 players but yea rush 4, drop 7. A natural 4 man pass rush is the key to a strong defense.

  • Dakota

    May 30th and 29th…..How about on June 1?

  • Buckarama

    i wouldn’t be surprised if most people were confusing the two 🙂

  • willy91137

    do They charged to see them practice the

  • R8erEduc8er

    I personally think he’d get swallowed up as a 3-tech.

  • Guest123

    I like the 4-9 defense better. Willy for Def Coor.

  • the super genius dr robert

    No. Really?

  • SaintKaufman

    Hope we’re practicing our ‘trip’ tackles for the guys standing on the sidelines as well. Defense is gonna be BOSS!

  • Guest123

    what’s a big step back from 11 wins? 7 wins?

  • Buckarama

    Pryor had the half of his professional career that game. He won’t do it again. We caught SD Sleeping

  • 6-7 wins.

  • willy91137

    My bad

  • R8erEduc8er

    Not a single Raider game, practice, or scrimmage comes remotely close to my neck of the woods – N. Carolina. Was hoping we’d play in Miami again this year or against the Panthers in Charlotte but NOPE!

  • RaidingTexas

    So she uses too much teeth?

  • the super genius dr robert

    He’s a former RB. So his body always leaned toward quick, not stout. Everyone was puzzled about him being a DE when he seemed to have a DT build. But he’s NEVER been a DT at the NFL level. Pointless even talking about it anymore.

  • IVRaider

    KC lost 3 starting offensive linemen. The D didn’t play nearly as well down the stretch, and I still don’t think Smith is a great QB.

  • Guest123

    Vegas still has the Raiders O/U at 5 wins. Even if they take that kind of a step back we’d be jockeying for position on the cellar right there with KC. Like I said earlier, I’d be doing cartwheels if we can snag 3rd place in the division.

  • DutchRaid

    Does he even go to Waivers? He has been in the league six years?

    “Players with 4+ seasons of service time are ‘released.’ These players, known as ‘vested veterans,’ do not pass through waivers and are free agents immediately, free to sign with any other team.”

  • willy91137

    Would be nice try to connecta a pass against that Peyton Manning

  • I think we leap over KC and are it a tight race with SD