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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

  • r8ter4evr

    So what I was talking defense not just LB’s
    FOOL

  • Blackholepriest

    At 6-7 you don’t even know what you’re looking at…….lol

    You don’t know what’s what until maybe 10 -12 which when I started really paying attention.

  • Blackholepriest

    Sure fool……make up anything.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    55-60 million in FA is fun, too.

  • r8ter4evr

    True story
    When we drafted Marcus in 1982 there were like 4 RB’s taken before him Craig James Walter Arbercrombie can’t remember the other two
    But on one of my folders from HS that I still have today I wrote
    The Saviour Marcus
    He didn’t let me down

  • SaintKaufman

    Can we get this guy?? He looks pretty tough.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvubQ0pKp4Y

  • r8ter4evr

    With your Pea sized brain I believe it but I started collecting cards and playing football at 6
    I guess it took you twice as long

  • SaintKaufman

    Wow! We should be able to find a long snapper with that kinda cash. Something tells me the days of no one wanting to come here(which is way overblown anyways) is about to end. I like.

  • r8ter4evr

    You remember Otis and his steaming head on MNF
    I DO

  • Blackholepriest

    Craig James was not in that draft. It was Darrin Nelson, Abercrombie the big back in Atlanta Gerald Riggs.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Almost

    1 New England Patriots Kenneth Sims Defensive End Texas
    2 Baltimore Colts Johnie Cooks Outside Linebacker Mississippi State
    3 Cleveland Browns Chip Banks Outside Linebacker USC
    4 Baltimore Colts Art Schlichter Quarterback Ohio State
    5 Chicago Bears Jim McMahon Quarterback Brigham Young
    6 Seattle Seahawks Jeff Bryant Defensive End Clemson University
    7 Minnesota Vikings Darrin Nelson Running back Stanford University
    8 Houston Oilers Mike Munchak Guard Penn State
    9 Atlanta Falcons Gerald Riggs Running Back Arizona State
    10 Los Angeles Raiders Marcus Allen [2] Running Back USC
    11 Kansas City Chiefs Anthony Hancock Wide Receiver University of Tennessee
    12 Pittsburgh Steelers Walter Abercrombie Running Back Baylor University

  • r8ter4evr

    Hey BlackHole Nun
    Sorry your brain took so long to develop

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    University of Mars?

  • BuckeyeRaider

    Marcus Allen was a tough SOB. And the epitome of consummate professional and team player.

    He was well on his way to a HOF career, Heisman trophy winner, rookie of the year, Super Bowl MVP and 1985 league MVP, when Al brought in Bo.

    And Marcus selflessly slid over to his old college position of blocking FB. He blocked for Charles White at USC.

    That’s is pure class, and putting the team before yourself. Bo’s signature MNF game against Seattle, Marcus was leveling people.

    Marcus was a great Raider, and no matter who was in the wrong, his feud with Al was one of the saddest chapters in the Raiders legendary history.

    Still breaks my heart, to this day to see him at those beach flag football games during pro bowl week…wearing one of those hideous Red and Gold Chefs jerseys.

  • Blackholepriest

    Believe it or not Big Al wanted Darrin Nelson he settled on Marcus Allen.

  • r8ter4evr

    Ok I admit I was wrong
    But been watching football
    Religiously for 43 years

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    During a Monday Night Football telecast, a television camera beamed a sideline shot of the 6’5″, 265-pound Sistrunk’s steaming bald head to the nation. That, along with his lack of a college education resulting in the team program listing Sistrunk’s academic background as “U.S. Mars” (short for U.S. Marines), prompted ABC commentator and ex-NFL player Alex Karras to suggest that the extraterrestrial-looking Sistrunk’s alma mater was the “University of Mars.”

  • Blackholepriest

    Never said you didn’t……

  • r8ter4evr

    I call it the curse of Marcus
    We haven’t won a SB since

  • DJ Johnny

    Roach’s name is rarely mentioned in here, which means he certainly didn’t do much negative…I would love to have that dominant mlb if I had my druthers of course…but Roach comports himself well.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    What’s wrong with our LB/LS?

  • r8ter4evr

    Ok I guess I take back what I said
    Priest
    We are all Raider Fans

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Roach was/is just fine.

  • r8ter4evr

    I remember that night

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Maybe. Al loved him some USC, though.

  • Blackholepriest

    Coached there……brought in the first black QB Willy Wood.

  • BuckeyeRaider

    You’re a lucky man. I’m envious.

    Hell, I’m jealous that my cousin was in the Marines..stationed in San Diego in ’83 got to drive up to LA to put the final nail in the Steel Curtain’s coffin.

    RIP. You bastards.

  • DJ Johnny

    He is…just not the dominating mlb I would prefer. I realize we’d all prefer to have a Ray Lewis at mlb so…As long as he does his job…which he has done we can still be a good defense w/out some “dominant” mlb.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    If you observe the same religious rituals while watching football as I do, some lapses in memory are forgiven.

  • J Hill

    Good to hear that some of the younger players were looking good.

    Criner, Ausberry, Carr, McGloin, and Watson.

  • Raiderfusion

    In Raiders history, but not in NFL history. The Raiders are my team, but that title would go to the Million Dollar Backfield the 49rs had in the late 50’s early 60’s.

  • Blackholepriest

    Grow up!

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Yep. Though not long a member of the Nation, the Raiders moving did seem wrong to me. The LA Coliseum being less than a half hour from Pasadena allowed me to buck up and deal with it.

  • Raiderfusion

    What do you mean over his head, all the guy did was lead the team in tackles. He’s doing a great job for us as their MLB. He’ll be even better this year with some horses in front of him.

  • r8ter4evr

    I can’t I just turned 50
    Seriously priest I remember Fran Kilmer Hart Staubach Jurrgenson
    Greise Mercury Morris Jim Kiiick Czonka etc and all the great Raiders and a lot of the avg Raiders, too many to mention guys like Art Thoms
    Football has always been my favorite sport and passion

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    In 1954, the term was used again to describe the backfield of the San Francisco 49ers, which would go on to produce four Hall of Famers. This 49ers backfield was also referred to in circles as the Fabulous Foursome.

    Of course it was.Simply Fabulous.

  • r8ter4evr

    Thank You
    Partying has took it’s toll too

  • Blackholepriest

    I never said it wasn’t. You don’t need to convince me.

  • r8ter4evr

    It’s all good
    Coach

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I think he’s great,but MLB’s often lead their teams in tackles. It’s almost their job. This came up when Captain Kirk’s importance was being debated. He did as well. I liked him too.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Good indeed. All three QB’s looking sharp sounds real good as well.

  • Raiderfusion

    It should be against the law to even mention that guys name in here. How sad that a respected blogger like yourself could commit a crime like that.

  • Raiderfusion

    Sistrunk wasn’t a MLB. He was a DL. Sorry, I didn’t know you meant all Defense, we were talking LB’s.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Fvck Y’All!

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    JK, ya know.

  • Dan Walker

    Can’t have that kind of passion…it angers those who feed off negativity and aren’t really Raider fans.

  • BuckeyeRaider

    ‘Sup SK.

    Man, I love that old ish, too. As Archie and Edith would sing…”when men were men”..

    I have an old copy on VHS, but if you can, try to find an old copy of NFL Films’ “Crunch Course”. Don’t know if it’s on youtube, or not.It does a lil piece on Butkus..and LT…and a really nice one on Howie.

    But it goes back to the 50’s and players like “Night Train” Lane when clotheslines and grabbing the facemask were legal. Absolutely brutal. And awesome.

    Of course, Roger Goodell has probably had every copy destroyed and stricken from the public record..lest it be used as evidence in some lawsuit.

  • BuckeyeRaider

    It absolutely glorifies the brutal nature, and history of pro football. Everything the league tries to downplay today.

  • Howard Benner

    Please. . .lose the “either you’re with us or you’re against us” drama.

    George Bush & his failed policies is far removed from the scenario. . .

  • Howard Benner

    Nelson from Stanford by the Vikes. . .from the (back then) Pac-10. . can you imagine?