The Raiders team in camp is pulling together slowly but surely. Today, the last restricted free agent in the NFL, Michael Bush, finally signed his tender and reported to practice. The Raider new prize free agent acquisition, Kevin Boss, was on the field as well.
Bush was waiting in the hopes that the Raiders would offer him a long term contract. But that offer never came and he eventually was forced to sign his $2.67 million tender and report to camp.
Bush will be a pivotal part of the offense this season as he has been in years past. There was little doubt he would be here all along but his absence from camp, combined with the injuries to Taiwan Jones (leg) and Darren McFadden (eye), caused Rock Cartwright and Louis Rankin to put in a lot of overtime in the offense.
During the season, his presence will be just as important in taking some of the load off of Darren McFadden. Hue Jackson was happy to have him back:
"Michael means a lot to this football team. We handed him the ball last year and he had a tremendous season and I think he wants to be here, I think he understands his role and I think he does a great job in that role... It's hard for a back to play 16 straight regular season games and not get, at some point in time, nicked up. So I think you gotta always have quality, quality players back there."
Now, hopefully, they can sign him long term before fee agency next offseason or we could see another big free agent loss like the few we saw this offseason.
One of those big free agent losses, perhaps the biggest in fact, was losing Pro Bowl tight end Zach Miller to the Seahawks. But the signing of Kevin Boss should go a long way in filling the void left by Miller's departure.
Boss worked out with the Raiders on Thursday, signed on Friday, and was in camp on Saturday. He was running with the first team offense at times today and looked smooth for a guy just brought in and practicing with his new teammates for the first time. He is wearing number 87 and at 6-6, he certainly stands out on the field.
He likes the opportunity he has in Oakland, both returning to the West Coast where he grew up as well as working with a tight end friendly quarterback in Jason Campbell.
Samson Satele continued to work with the first team at center. Wisniewski worked at center with the second team but has been playing almost entirely at left guard, sometimes with the first team and sometimes with the second team.
At one point Hue Jackson called out, "If you are a one, get on the field!" and the first team offensive line at this moment was LT Jared Veldheer, LG Daniel Loper, C Samson Satele, RG Cooper Carlisle, RT Khalif Barnes.
Kamerion Wimbley might have had four sacks today if they were actually tackling. He destroyed anyone lining up at right tackle -- usually Khalif Barnes.
Sterling Moore had another interception today. Nick Miller bobbled a catch and Moore stepped in and grabbed it away from him. He continues to be the surprise corner in camp.
Quentin Groves continues to make mistakes and miscues. He is routinely getting chewed out by coaches. He may not make this team unless he can improve real quick. The team may still be looking for free agent weak side linebackers as well.
Recently signed offensive lineman Justin Smiley has decided to retire.
The team acquired four new players today: WR Chad Jackson, WR Derek Hagan, WR Shawn Bayes, and FB Kelly Bryson. They are right at 90 players now so if they add anyone else, they will have to cut someone to make room.
Chaz Schilens went down hard today and was a little slow to get up. He jogged off and appeared to be fine but Hue decided to hold him out of practice the rest of the day just to be safe.
Rolando McClain was back at practice after missing two days with what Hue likes to call "nicks."
All other injuries remain the same.
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yea it's not looking too good. even with the help of Boss blocking ... they'll still have problems pass blocking against the punishing pass rushers we're facing this year. you think they'll be able to handle the NYJ DLine or even the Patriots DL with Shaun Ellis now onthe team? Wilfork, Ellis, Haynesworth ... i doubt our unit will be able to push anyone around. this "BULLY" that Hue is talking about is not looking so hot this year.
is barnes still whining about not being the franchise left tackle that he and we thought he first came here for? im still not sold on that line. i say let barksdale play and grow. interesting to see how he plays in the preseason. i think the lockout truly hurt rookies all over the league. some former starters will keep their jobs by default cause the rookies didn't get the proper training and reps they needed!
O-Line still dodgy- Barnes is hopeless. I'd like Wiz jr to come to RG instead of Carlisle. Or give Schuening more reps there as he sounds like he's got potential. The RT position desperately needs Barksdale or Heyer to step up and claim that spot. Can you imagine how good the rushing stats would be if we actually had a quality O-line? Be off the chart...
@DevonRaiderUK insanely good. that's why they went after Gaither first and foremost. it was really a kick in the teeth when he didn't pass his physical. at least for me it was... he would have gone a long way solidifying this OL. it's becoming apparent, AS EXPECTED BY MYSELF AND OTHERS, that this team is sorely lacking a RT. no one currently will be solid. might as well resign Walker... that's why i wanted a true LT in here and switch Veldheer to RT ... 2 bookends for years to come. sounded good didnt it? well, Gaither failed and Al Davis is cap strapped.... so.... it's not looking good unless a couple more high paid Raiders restructure to make room.
I agree with you. Veldheer is a brutal run blocker. I'm sure Oakland will move him right, as soon as they can.
Oakland aren't too far off a quality line. If they can get another decent tackle from somewhere, in the draft or free agency next year, and they'll have a really good line.
As I said, you can't expect things to just improve, when none of the players are really changing.
To be fair though, teams like Oakland and Indie have taken maybe 1 high offensive lineman in about the last 25 drafts!
You can't complain about having a bad line, when you don't invest picks in it.