Right tackle, backup quarterback will be highlights of training camp position battles

Matt McGloin and Connor Cook expect to battle at backup quarterback. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Matt McGloin and Connor Cook expect to battle at backup quarterback. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The Raiders won’t have a ton of position battles when training camp begins in late July, but right tackle and backup quarterback might be the biggest.

Menelik Watson and Austin Howard shared most of the repetitions at right tackle during minicamp. The two battled last year with Watson having the edge until suffering a ruptured Achilles in the preseason and he seems to again have the slight edge.

Howard has the benefit of more experience, having started 62 games over the past four season. Watson, by comparison, has just 12 career starts thanks to missing last year due to injury.

The backup quarterback battle figures to generate plenty of training camp chatter simply because quarters always generate chatter.

The Raiders showed they want to give Connor Cook a true look when they opened minicamp Tuesday giving him some of the second-team repetitions alongside incumbent Matt McGloin. But that didn’t last long, with McGloin taking all the second-team turns the past two days.

Cook was not impressive during these past three days. His passes wobbled at times, at others they sailed and he generally did not look like a confident and accurate passer. The accuracy isn’t a major surprise since he was not a high completion percentage passer at Michigan State. .

It’s way too early to judge Cook, but he’ll likely need to make a significant jump by training camp to have a real chance to supplant McGloin as the backup.

At the two return positions, Taiwan Jones and TJ Carrie will go into camp with the best chance of retaining their spots.

Fifth-round pick DeAndre Washington has been getting work at kick returner along with undrafted free agent receivers Joe Hansley and Jaydon Mickens, both of who also got work at punt returner.

Special teams coordinator Brad Seely was somewhat contradictory when talking about how he views those spots.

“I don’t think there’s any leader,” Seely said initially before adding, ” You have to start with TJ Carrie because he’s been there on the punt returns. Then you have to start with Taiwan on the kickoff return, who did a really good job for us last year. As always, as we tell those young guys or new guys, that they have to beat somebody out if they want to get that job. We have a lot of guys working, a lot of guys working hard. We’ll see once we start playing games, who does well.”

Amari Cooper returned a few punts last year and it didn’t go all that well, but Seely wouldn’t rule out using him again if the situation called for it.

“I think we’ll do whatever we have to do to help our football team,” Seely said. “If he can help us, just like last year he had to come in there in certain situations, we played him. I think we’re also going to be smart. Obviously, he’s such a talent as a wide receiver. We want to pick and choose those spots, but he’s working and catching. It depends on the situation. If the situation arises where we need him, we’ll use him.”


Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.

  • Charlie

    We have tried in a peaceful way.
    It does not work.
    i agree with your solution in principle.
    No nukes. Just good old fashioned boots on the ground devastation to terrorist cells.

  • you have point however that applies to everything we are feed from the media

  • I think it was Chris Benoit, who also killed his whole family or something tragic like that.


    Best regular season record is nice but not winning the title makes it irrelevant. We shall see on Sunday.

  • nolarick

    Are you suggesting that they only way to solve the IS riddle is to nuke the desert? I think that our putative allies in the region, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuait, et. al. may take issue with that plan.

    Can you please cite your sources for your assertion that IS fighters will enter the US via Syrian refugees?

  • My solution was sarcastic, its what the USA (under satans authority) has been doing to the middle east for decades

  • nolarick

    It’s a hydra. Cut off one head and two sprout up in its place, more problematic that the original.

  • A guy was shot in the back of the head and then takes a quote from an Islamic military group given to the AP.
    Not sure how anything could really be added to that.

  • Born With a Patch

    New Posts gents

  • PlunkforHOF

    He’s been going on about nukes for a while now.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    Two biggest Warriors’ problems have nothing to do with Cavs:

    1) The state of Iggy’s back for Sunday’s game
    2) The state of Steph’s head after his wife’s ill-advised tweet–has that woman been blah, blah, blahing in his head all week about the NBA and refs? I mean it’s one thing for him to tell his wife in the privacy of their home he’s been getting a raw deal and another for her to agree so much with him as he blows off steam that he starts to believe he’s lost his magic powers.

  • nolarick


  • We destabilized Iraq,, Libya and syria. Now working on yemen and a few others

  • Charlie

    See CIA director speech to congress yesterday.
    No nukes.
    Targeted boots on the ground attacks of terrorist cells working with the governments of the impacted countries.

  • Charlie

    I am fine with getting out of there completely.
    We simply can not do that without tightening our immigration policies.

  • nolarick

    None of it works. The only effective suppressant of terrorists is a strong regional dictator.

  • nolarick


  • Charlie

    I am fine with getting out of the region entirely.
    We simply can not do that without strengthening our immigration polices.

  • nolarick

    Can you unblock once you block?
    Has AJ blocked everyone?

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    W’s are mentally tired —the Streak took its toll.

  • Lets see you root for lebron now, you commie. : )

  • nolarick

    Sure we can. Give the terrorists another target to fixate upon. Like Asad. A negotiated peace with Asad is the only hope for stabilizing Syria. We should back a similar strongman in Iraq.

  • Teabag McKenz

    Despite fans taking the easy route of making the OC a scapegoat, Musgrave lead this team to the overall most productive offense since our Super Bowl run and several franchise records were broken (individual and team).

  • Charlie

    the problem is that arms length approaches have imploded in rather short periods of time.
    the over throw of our embassy in 1979 Iran shows how unstable the region is. The Shah was ousted.

  • nolarick

    Your analogy fails because the US was not arms-length in Iran in the 60’s-70’s. The problem in Iran, leading to the hostage crisis in ’79, was the US support for the Shah who was unanimously despised by the population. It was the US support for the Shah which lead to the Islamic revolution.

  • R8erEduc8er

    3. Lebron.

    He can put that team on his back and carry them to a win. Dude is a monster on both sides of the court.

  • r8dercain


  • Rik/ Will/bloc…

    You block him really?

  • Rik/ Will/bloc…

    Dan Blocker lol

  • Dan78

    No I kid bro… Haven’t seen MR and Riff yet…

  • Rik/ Will/bloc…

    Nope or that Ajamerso

  • LondonAl

    No one will believe you!

  • Hey man just saw this. I was being sarcastic. Don’t read too much into it.

  • souldogdave

    I hate basketball. This is a football article. SMH.

  • willy91137

    Yes Charlie that will be fine we can kill another 4000 American soldiers
    probably dis able and wound another 30,000 and have more veterans we can take care of that is a very good idea NOT

  • fonso gando
  • fonso gando
  • TrevJo

    Hate is a strong word but yeah, don’t the Warriors have their own blog?

  • FriskiesR8R

    Sjiym7 I]p

  • FriskiesR8R


  • TheGhostOfKennyStapler


  • Miamiraider78


  • Miamiraider78


  • rheba505737lasandra

    On average, 90% of the people that have the disease Lupus are female
    Amazon Gift card worth $100. Get Here http://bit.ly/29Y4liF