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Observations from OTA today

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

  • willy91137

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

  • http://batman-news.com 559 Raider 87

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

  • R8erEduc8er

    2nd place (or higher) or bust for me!

  • JerryMcDonalds#1Fan

    you looked it up? lol

  • Guest123

    better stock up on some good pure agave tequila

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    Baby steps I guess.

  • Guest123

    that’s what I say to self before downing that last shot of tequila. or so I think it’s the last shot.

  • R8erEduc8er

    If C-Wood can believe, I can too! *gulps kool-aid*

  • Dakota

    Cool. Reggie will just need to show him the money.

  • SaintKaufman

    LOL! It’s never the last shot.

  • Guest123

    I might even be inclined to believe in the coaching staff for another year if they could just take some baby steps. Not finishing the season on a 8 game losing streak would be a refreshing change.

  • Dakota

    http://www.nfl.com/transactions

    Not very difficult.

  • TrevJo

    I don’t believe you go to the back of the line after a claim in the NFL waiver system

  • DutchRaid

    Not sure it is correct? I think there is some kind of waiver system after the trading deadline though? Anybody?

  • TrevJo

    KC for sure. SD probably.

  • willy91137

    If you buy the Sunday ticket you can see them every week on TV and is cheaper than going to the games but you got a have the dish network to get the ticket to give it to you free if you change over the next year they’ll charge you $200 for it last year I called them up and told them I had been with them for six years and I want to buy is just the red zone and they said I couldn’t buy the red zone without buying the ticket I finally got hold of a manager and he said since you been with us for six years I will give it to you

  • Buckarama

    I get the NFL ticket – I love that I get to watch EVERY game!!!

  • http://batman-news.com 559 Raider 87

    Hope you signed up in a gymnastics class, because by seasons end you will be doing cartwheels. See us finishing 3rd in the divison possibly possibly 2nd

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    So you’re familiar with Port Hueneme?

  • Guest123

    KC maybe, I still think it’s a longshot. SD no way. They are stronger than you think. We may beat them once but their record is going to be good.

  • R8erEduc8er

    I watch every game for free online at atdhe.net….just wanted to go to a game in person but the closest game to NC is the STL or KC game, which are both too far.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Rush 4, drop 7 works well too.

  • the super genius dr robert

    I look at the team in phases or units.

    I believe the defense has the ability to be top 12.

    The front 7 should be very stout and the pass rush and coverage should be good too.

    The pass offense has potential to be top 12 as well. Schaub is a quality qb and I think the receivers are better than most think.

    It’s the run game I fear will be subpar. I think the OL will be good but I’m not sure we have a RB who will even be solid. Questions abound with all of them.

  • R8erEduc8er

    I think Willy was counting the ghost of Al and the bird that helped us a few years ago as extra pass rushers.

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    NFL ticket is mandatory. Not even negotiable. Same with the MLB extra innings ($249 this year, went up big time).
    I got two TV’s in the loft, one I leave on the “Mix” station for football and just move the audio around, one for another game with no audio.

  • Guest123

    damn! I’m impressed. I had to do some major negotiating just to get the RedZone channel.
    #whupped

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    I still pay for it all.
    But wifey is a fantasy football player, so she digs it.
    Baseball?? Not so much.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    1st quarter, truth be told. The 44 yarder to Streater after the turnover, and a good TD drive mid 1st quarter. Short drive for a FG in the 2nd and again in the 4th. That’s the game Pryorites hang their hats on. SD turned it over 5 times.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    What does it know, anyway?

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    We’ll make more.

  • TrevJo

    KC finished the season 2-5. They started off super hot because of ridiculous luck with their players getting injured and because of a crazy-easy first-half schedule. Then they lost a bunch of key FA without adding any key FA.

    Not sure why you think SD is any good. Like the rest of the AFC West, they played a very easy non-division schedule, and they damned-near lost to the Chiefs’ second-string players in week 17 IN SAN DIEGO–KC’s kicker makes a routine FG at the end and the Chargers finish 8-8 and out of the playoffs like they belong.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    SD will start off slow. We just need them to stay that way.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    The pigeon was special teams.

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    I think (and worry) that SD had a great draft.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Phaser units?

  • willy91137

    in the NFL today differs between a playoff team and a bottom feeder is about four or five plays during the season in your division a missed field goal and missed tackle it is a game of inches

  • the super genius dr robert

    Set to stun.

  • Guest123

    I see a marked improvement. 6-10 or even 7-9 with some luck.

  • Guest123

    Call me skeptical but I don’t see Matt Schaub leading us to the playoffs anytime soon. I think he solidifies the position and can effectively be a game manager, but he’s not carrying a team on his back. If and when Carr is ready, my outlook on where he can take us will change.

  • willy91137

    Not in California I don’t buy the ticket anymore I try to talk him into giving me the red zone it is negotiable but you got to stay on the phone and argue with them and when you’re old and got lots of time well you can see the picture

  • PlunkforHOF

    Used to surf there and Oxnard Shores a lot.

  • Blackholepriest

    It’s his job to believe that every snap and every game they can win. Or else why play at his age?

  • the super genius dr robert

    I think 7-9 is mandatory but 9-7 is possible or with a lot of things going our way, 10-6 could happen. But that requires a RB to emerge.

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    Just buy it.
    What are you saving money for at this stage in the game?

  • JerryMcDonalds#1Fan

    Schaub needs a strong running game and solid defense, like he had in Houston. I think he can do without a true #1 WR (such as Andre Johnson) because he proved to play just as well without him, in the games AJ missed due to injury..Texans OL was garbage. Should receive a big boost in Oakland, in that regard

  • Guest123

    what you consider mandatory is what I consider perfect alignment of the planets, moons, and stars.

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    He had an All-Pro left tackle, something he doesn’t have here.

  • Guest123

    but don’t we always end up paying for it all?

  • Guest123

    that’s no fun!

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    Could have went to the Carolina game two years ago and watched Matt Leinart.