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Showing posts from July, 2012

Oakland Raiders Training Camp Report: Winners and Losers from Day 1

As seen on Bleacher Report.

Owner Mark Davis and general manager Reggie McKenzie were in Napa, Calif. to watch the first practice under new head coach Dennis Allen. The new era of Raiders football got underway on a beautiful sunny day in wine country and finished on a positive note for the defense when rookie defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi picked off a Terrelle Pryor screen pass and returned it for a touchdown.

Allen believed the Raiders had a pretty good day of practice, but there was plenty of room for improvement. Once Allen goes back to watch the video of practice, he will see a few players that really helped themselves on Monday and a few who didn't.



Winners

Eddie McGee

Not only did McGee make a few nice catches, including a long grab from Carson Palmer over veteran cornerback Shawntae Spencer, but McGee was coming in with Ford with the No.2 unit ahead of standout rookies Juron Criner and Rod Streater.

It's a sign that McGee is very much still in the mix to make the team, pa…

Preseason Profile: Nathan Stupar, LB

Nathan Stupar #54
College: Penn State
Height: 6'1⅝"
Weight: 241 lbs
Arm Length: 31.3"
Hand Size 9.1"



40 Yard Dash: 4.78
3 Cone Drill: 6.84
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.28
Bench Press: 21 reps
Vertical Jump: 31"
Broad Jump: 116"



Nathan Stupar was drafted out of Linebacker U. Regardless of what the college is famous for now, they have been able to produce solid linebackers on a yearly basis. Nathan has a really high football IQ and comes in as a very disciplined player. How's that for a change of pace huh? Disciplined? He also comes from a pedigree of NFL players which include a brother Jonathan Stupar who most recently played TE for the Baltimore Ravens and an uncle Jeff Hostetler who is a former quarterback of the Raiders.

Stupar started 7 games his senior season at outside linebacker and collected 73 tackles which included 6.5 tackles for a loss and 2 sacks. He's still is a bit of an unknown though having played behind a rich crop of linebackers at Penn State. Stupar pr…

Preseason Profile: Kaelin Burnett, LB

Kaelin Burnett #57
College: Nevada
Height: 6'3½"
Weight: 234 lbs
Arm Length: N/A
Hand Size N/A



40 Yard Dash: 4.64
3 Cone Drill: 6.70
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.30
Bench Press: 20 reps
Vertical Jump: 34.5"
Broad Jump: 129"



Kaelin Burnett is the brother of Miami Dolphins linebacker Kevin Burnett. Kaelin began his career playing outside linebacker at Nevada, but was moved to defensive end right before his senior season . He is obviously not your prototypical defensive end at 234 lbs, but did show case his agility and notched 48 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, and 5 sacks in his senior season.

Kaelin's road to the NFL was not easy though. He had to overcome shoulder surgery in 2008 and a very serious hip injury he suffered during spring practice before his senior season at Nevada. “I went up in the air to knock down a screen pass,” Burnett said in an interview with Joe Santoro from examiner.com. “I got pushed in the air and landed on my hip.” this wasn't an ordinary hip injury though. …

Preseason Profile: Miles Burris, LB

Miles Burris #56
College: San Diego St.
Height: 6'2⅛"
Weight: 246 lbs
Arm Length: 31.7"
Hand Size 9.7"



40 Yard Dash: 4.67
3 Cone Drill: 6.81
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.20
Bench Press: 31 reps
Vertical Jump: 37.5"
Broad Jump: 121"



The Raiders seemed very excited at the opportunity to grab Miles Burris in the 4th round of the draft this year. In my opinion Miles seemed to fly under the radar a bit, and I wanted to dig a little deeper into why that was. Miles is a very instinctive player. He rarely second guesses his first read, and doesn't waste movements during the play. By that I mean he doesn't take a lot of "false steps" or move lateral too much.  Because of that Miles plays faster than his 40 time suggests and is another reason why straight line speed is overrated by many. He has an attack mentality about him that I believe had a lot to do with the Raiders interest in him.

Miles made a lot of "splash" plays at San Diego St. His relentlessness and…

Preseason Profile: Travis Goethel, LB

Travis Goethel #50
College: Arizona St.
Height: 6'2½"
Weight: 240 lbs
Arm Length: 32.0"
Hand Size 9.6"



40 Yard Dash: 4.81
3 Cone Drill: 6.93
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.54
Bench Press: 21 reps
Vertical Jump: 35"
Broad Jump: 111"



Travis Goethel was selected in the 6th round in the 2010 draft. He was initially thought to be one of those late round steals after making some significant noise in training camp, but a lower back injury limited him severely his first season with the Raiders. He saw action in just 8 games his rookie season, most of which was on special teams. After showing signs of promise his rookie year before the injury, many were excited to see what Goethel had to offer in his second season with a clean bill of health. He burst onto the scene again in 2011, drawing rave reviews in training camp from the coaches, and was in line to start at weak side linebacker. Fans again began to hope Goethel would emerge into a late round steal for the Raiders only to have histor…

Preseason Profile: Philip Wheeler, LB

Philip Wheeler #52
College: Georgia Tech
Height: 6'1⅞"
Weight: 248 lbs
Arm Length: N/A"
Hand Size: N/A"



40 Yard Dash: 4.76
3 Cone Drill: 7.11
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.29
Bench Press: 24 reps
Vertical Jump: 31"
Broad Jump: 118"



"A tenacious, strong and remarkably athletic inside linebacker... considered by many as one of the nation's best-blitzing linebackers". Those were words used to describe Philip Wheeler coming out of college. He averaged a half sack per game his senior year at Georgia Tech and also led the team in tackles. His athleticism allows him to play coverage as well and he led Georgia Tech in interceptions in 2007 with four, not bad for an inside linebacker.

His athleticism was a big part of why he was drafted by the Colts in the third round of the 2008 draft. The Colts have been a very finesse defense for the better part of a decade and really liked how a guy like Wheeler fit into their defensive system. The Colts run a strict cover two defense wh…

Preseason Profile: Rolando McClain, LB

Rolando McClain #55
College: Alabama
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 254 lbs
Arm Length: 33"
Hand Size: 9 3/8"



40 Yard Dash: 4.69
3 Cone Drill: N/A
20 Yard Shuttle: N/A
Bench Press: 24 reps
Vertical Jump: 35"
Broad Jump: N/A



In the last decade there have been a lot of Raiders first round picks that were scrutinized far before they ever put on a uniform. A lot of the scrutiny was justified, but should not always be directed at the player. After all, the players can't control where they are selected. Rolando McClain "broke the mold" if you will, when it comes to first round picks by the Raiders though. He was thought of by many to finally be one of those "sure thing" draft picks. Well the start of McClain's career in the NFL has been anything but "sure". McClain struggled to make the transition from a one gap linebacker in Nick Saban's 34 defense at Alabama to a two gap linebacker in the 43 defense the Raiders ran in his first season. Those str…

Preseason Profile: Aaron Curry, LB

Aaron Curry #51
College: Wake Forest
Height: 6'1⅝"
Weight: 254 lbs
Arm Length: N/A"
Hand Size: N/A"

40 Yard Dash: 4.56
3 Cone Drill: 7.15
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.51
Bench Press: 25 reps
Vertical Jump: 37"
Broad Jump: 124"



Curry was a very highly touted linebacker coming out of Wake Forest who seemed to be the total package. After being selected fourth overall in 2009, many assumed that Seattle would have a young star on defense to build around for years to come. To the surprise of many, Aaron Curry was traded to the Raiders in 2011 just five games into his third season. Of course the first thought that goes through everyone's mind when a top five draft pick is traded that early in his career is that they turned out to be a bust. However, I don't believe that to be true with Curry.

In his rookie season he started 12 games and had 61 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. He didn't light the world on fire but had a pretty solid year all things considered. Many ex…

Oakland Raiders: Camp Battles – WR Edition

I will be doing a series of Raiders camp position battles throughout the off-season starting with wide receiver. I will continue to update these battles throughout camp as roster events take place such as injuries, cuts, new signings, etc.

Here is a list of the wide receivers on the Raiders 90 man roster including links to their player profile and my written summary breaking down each one individually.




Denarius Moore #17

Darrius Heyward-Bey #85

Jacoby Ford #12

Juron Criner #84

Eddie McGee #16

Rod Streater #80

Louis Murphy #18

Derrick Carrier #89

Duke Calhoun #14

Brandon Carswell #13

Thomas Mayo #19

Travionte Session #87



I believe the Raiders will carry six wide receivers this season, with realistically 2 spots up for grabs. The amount of prospects the Raiders have brought in speaks to the fact that no one will be handed a job anymore. Performance in training camp will go a long ways in deciding the future of a lot of these young players with the Raiders. The competition at the position should bring…