The Raiders' starting unit proved they could play better than an Arizona Cardinals team that some people suspect will win their division this season. This week the Raiders will take on another NFC West opponent, the San Francisco 49ers. But preseason is more about the positional battles than the win-loss column. Some players are training camp sensations while others crawl out of oblivion and end up making the roster. This year the roster is an overinflated 90 players, so there has never been more of an opportunity for young men, nor such competition for older guys. Still, there are some storylines that are Moore intriguing than others.
Strong side Linebacker
The Battle for this position is still on. Quentin Groves has proven size and speed to fit in with the linebackers the Raiders are attempting to establish against the run and pass, but thus far he has been too inconsistent to consider reliable. Last week, Groves played over two quarters of action and said that he welcomed that because he “had some things to work on.” No doubt the linebackers coaches and head coach have gone over the tape together. If they weren’t impressed with what they saw on that tape, the Buffalo Bills just released a former first round pick from Linebacker U – Penn State. Aaron Maybin should be considered a serious contender to take up some of that cap space ($5.1 million) the Raiders now have.
Moore and Moore
The more I hear about Denarius Moore, the more there is to like. This guy has a tendency to manipulate the ball in the air so that it ends up in his hands. He is what the layman would consider a natural. The coaches fear that he is about to hit a rookie's wall but I see no wall for this man, as he will mount, scale, and overcome that wall – or will he?
On the opposite side of the ball, Sterling Moore has become a more popular name since joining the Raiders. Moore has worked hard in training camp and his work is showing on the field. With the recent injury to Chris Johnson, Moore could work himself right into a spot on this roster with a good preseason. He may just surpass last year’s picks of Walter McFadden and Jeremy Ware. The Raiders do have a knack for finding an undrafted player who makes the roster each year.
Can Moss keep on it?
Jarvis Moss played like a man possessed in the first week of preseason. He made it known with his presence that he was a former first round pick by dictating to the Arizona Cardinals' back-up left tackle. This week is time to see if he can keep up the ferocity that he played with last week. If Moss indeed proves he is the player the Denver Broncos thought he was when they drafted him 17th overall, he will make the Raiders’ defensive line especially exceptional. It’s clear that defensive line coach Mike Waufle has discovered something elite in Moss’ abilities. If it works out, Moss will take pressure off of Trevor Scott as well as Kamerion Wimbley since they will get more time to rest.
The Raiders' on and off safety over the last few preseasons, Boyd has shown consistent improvement in his two seasons since signing as an unrestricted free agent in 2009. With Hiram Eugene out of competition for the year, there is a wide open battle for an extra safety spot. In the words of Hue Jackson, “Next man up.” The Raiders signed two safeties to come in and make somebody the best player they can be by pushing them to the breaking point – in this case, the breaking point of being cut from the roster. Boyd has all the right tools to make himself the player who takes that position on the depth chart. He is capable of being the third guy at both free and strong safety and could be utilized in the special teams’ protection units. Be on the lookout for Boyd in the contest because the coaches will. Boyd managed four tackles last week and has been a consistent player in training camp.
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Chris, DHB had the lowest completion rate in the league for receivers who were targeted over 50 times in a season. It is a fact. Look it up. Placing the blame on Campbell for DHB's lack of performance is rediculous. Yes, Campbell made some tough throws for DHB to catch, but he also made a lot of good throws that went right through his hands. DHB can only catch the ball on a short slant route that is thrown directly into his chest. I am a season ticket holder and have watched every game DHB has played, both at home and away. I have watched him enough to form an opinion, and it isn't good. He doesn't have it. You can take any spin you want on it, but I have never seen him make a gametime spectacular catch. He has never caught a pass longer than 30 yards and he is supposedly our deep threat. The guy has (2) touchdowns in two years as a starter..Is that Campbell's fault, Chris??? Hell no.... DHB cannot break plays wide open to get into the end zone. His statistics are terrible, and bottom line with DHB, he cannot catch the ball and he cannot make big plays. Sad but true. On the otherhand, Denarius Moore will become the playmaking receiver we all had hoped DHB would mature into. Watch and see. Moore has that special intangible all great receivers have: the natural ability to catch the ball!!!
Where is Tyvon Branch? He started 16 games for us each of the last 2 seasons. He has led the team in tackles over the period. He is listed as a starter on the depth chart. Yet, he didn't play against AZ and I haven't heard a word about him. Why is no one concerned that he has apparently disappeared?
Well i'm not as worried about the passing game and the wideouts this year Murph shouldn't miss but one or two games Ford will be ready hayward bey will be better the young guys Moore Hagan no. 10 what ever his name is looked pretty good also they have a real offinsive coordinater that knows the passing game somthing they havent had in years.I'm worried much more about the corners really hoping Sterrling Moore can step up . I like what i see from DVD but the whole backfield needs to learn some ball skills it seems like were in good coverage then the ball goes up and we stop playing and stat looking for the tackle instead of the ball.Anyway go Raiders beat that a##
yea, our receivers haven't caught a lot of balls, but getting the ball in mcfaddens hands as much as possible isn't a bad thing, he's our most explosive player (ford a close 2nd). bad oline play, and i dont think campbell is confident in our receivers to throw it to them. murphys injury is huge cause i think he's our best receiver hands down. hue should tell jason to throw to bey as much as he can in these preseason games. the moore kid could be ready to take off and with all the injurys at that spot, he may work himself into a lot of action in the opener(maybe start)! hue seems to be running a tom coughlin like camp, which is what we need, but with all the stuff missed cause of the lockout, he's running us into medical tent faster than they can run a play! i know one thing, the 49ers got sacked like 10 times last week, so im expecting at least 6 or more. time to turn that intensity up in the game, not just in practice. i also wanna see our offense score some dang on points!
On a brighter note, I consider Oakland's passing game much developed from last season, in regards to their pre season game with Arizona.
Campbell was lasering balls into wide open receivers. Real elite arm stuff. And really great protection and play calling.
That just wasn't happening last season. Any passes that were completed last year, was receivers making great plays. There were no easy completions.
The pass to Heyward Bey - a deep out, lasered into him between two defenders. And the play action to Moore, were both examples of good protection, route running, and QB play.
As I said, didn't happen last year. No easy completions
I really like Jarvis Moss.
He had problems in Denver for numerous reasons. First, he had a bad injury in his rookie year which took him a while to get over. Then Mike Nolan came in and made him play linebacker....................
You know, a 6'7, 270 pound guy, who's played defensive end his entire career, isn't going to turn into an elite linebacker after 12 pro appearances!
I like the guy. He really wants it. Is a great pro. Really loves the Raiders organization (read his tweets), and is obviously playing hard for a contract.
I really hope he gets one
Oakland needs help at WR in a big way. Murphys injury really hurts the team. Every other receiver on the roster has some big question marks. Moore included. The length of an NFL season is hard on rookies. Moore is ahead of the curve no doubt, but no team can hang their hat on a rookie WR to carry the load. Schillens needs to stay healthy or kick rocks. I would prefer to have T.O. on the roster instead of Schillens. This has to be his last opportunity right? DHB has to prove himself this year as well. You can't blame him for being drafted waaaaaaay before he should have been, but this is year #3. He's gotta show up on Sundays. With Murphy going down, I really think we need to sign a veteran who can contribute on a consistent basis. What else is needed at this point? O-line help? Another corner? (Asante Samuel maybe), Outside backer? All of these injuries are showing how little depth there really is at some key positions.
The injury to Louis Murphey has me very concerned. I just do not have confidence in DHB whatsoever, and consider him a liability on the field. Denarius Moore has definitely been the bright spot of this injury plagued training camp, and hopefully the Raiders will target him with most of the throws against the 49ers. If Moore has a strong game, I could see him being made a full time starter. He is definitely a natural, and I agree with you Bret that he won't suffer through that infamous rookie wall. Moore has the intangibles to be great, something which DHB has never shown, and hopefully, by the start of the regular season, Jacoby Ford and Chaz Schilens will both be healthy, giving the Raiders dangerous receivers on both sides of the ball.
@Spartacus Get your facts right on DHB. He has caught a pass over 30 yards- at SEA last year. DHB has breakaway speed. Many plays DHB runs designed clear routes for other receivers; do you see that in your game film. Do you see how well DHB blocks in your review of game film. They need to get DHB involved by targeting him early.
Everyone is quick to jump on DHB. Yet Chaz has caught only 40 some passes in four years with the team. He's always hurt, yet he is a #1 WR?
Denarius Moore is going to be a good receiver, but he is a rookie and needs some time to pick up the nuances of playing in the NFL. Eveyrone is overlooking the most polished WR on the team- #6 Hagan; he has caught more passes in the NFL than any other WR on the Raiders.
@theoptimizers He did play against Arizona, but the starters, aside from Groves and the defensive ends in relief, only played six plays in that game. Branch is locked in at SS and is not injured
"Campbell was lasering balls into wide open receivers. Real elite arm stuff. And really great protection and play calling."
I disagree. I was disappointed in Campbell in the 1st preseason game. There was at least three times that our speedy receivers had got behind the coverage and instead of letting the ball fly Campbell lobbed it up short causing the receiver to have to adjust to the ball and allowing the DB to recover and make a play. If he had put the ball out in front and let the receiver run under it they'd of had three long TD scores. Hopefully he'll get better at that. If he doesn't we're going to see int's that will be purely Campbell's fault.
No offence, but DHB has been superb in numerous camps, and pre season games since he has been drafted.
Big difference between turning it on in training, and performing on a Sunday.
There isn't a receiver on any Oakland roster who has had a 1000 yard season, or a 10 touchdown season since something like 2006!?
It's not 100% DHBs fault. 50% of it is that he's never been in a team who had a QB who could:
1: Throw it
2: Not get sacked 10 times a game
The big games Jason Campbell/Bruce had, DHB actually got more catches than anyone else. He was averaging 5 catches per game, in games when Campbell completed more than 20 passes.
Truth is, last season, Campbell was only completing 10 passes a game, to anyone...........................The guy only had 10 touchdown passes in 12 starts. Less than one a game.
Either Murphy, DHB, Ford, Miller, Schillens are all just terrible, terrible, horrible players, or there was something severly wrong with the QB/Pass blocking last year.
I'd say it's probably the latter.
You can't judge DHB like Maclin, or Harvin. They were playing in teams with QBs completing 30 passes per game. Not 8 or 9......................
What I'm saying is, if an Oakland receiver steps up, and catches 80 balls for 1200 yards, and 8-9 TDs, and DHB still sucks, then please do say he's awful
But at the minute, nobody in the team is catching a ball.............DHB is just slightly worse than the others.
Top receiver in Oakland last season was VERY nearly McFadden! Zach Miller only caught 80 more yards than our running back.
Which says it all.
As I said, when Campbells completing 25 passes a game, throwing 25 touchdowns, and passing for 3500 yards, and DHB is still catching 400 yards a season, then complain.
Can't kill the kid when the QB isn't completing passes to anyone
I almost always agree with you here. That said, I think DHB was indeed drafted too early. The coaching staff has an obligation to management to test the player through what would be considered a period of "normal" development. IN this case the general consensus is that he should be bringing it in year three. Here we reach a nexus. It is year three and DHB must put up numbers that are consistent with the team's needs. Not necessarily consistent with his draft order. That mistake is a management "cost" mistake and is history. If he can put up numbers that help the team then his future contract would reflect the production. If not, he will get a shot elsewhere. That my two cents.
Thanks. I didn't see him, even when the starters were in. But I did see Boyd very early. Boyd scares the crap out of me, almost as much as Walter McFadden. They need the new safeties and young CBs to get up to speed quickly. @BretArmstrong
@Raiderhays That is all timing, once he gets used to how they make their breaks and how fast they are, those are touchdowns. In week one, the most important thing is that he is giving everybody an opportunity and that he is making the right reads, which he was, because they were open, he just missed them. But they weren't interceptions and it's an issue that is easily fixed
Oakland's problem last year in passing was.
The play book says "play action, then bomb it"
And one of three things happened:
1: Campbell tried the play and got sacked
2: Campbell tried the play, and fumbled it
3: Campbell tried the play, but only has 1.5 seconds of protection, so aborted it, and dumped it off to Marcel Reese or Darren McFadden
QB, offensive line, receivers, all need to step up.
Games where Campbell played well, and got good blocking, DHB was as productive as anyone in the team.
Can't expect the guy to catch 7 balls, when the QB only averages 11 completions a game! Guys like Brady and Manning average 30............
Again, when Campbell's only completing 10 passes per game, to any Oakland receiver in 2010, you can't be expecting DHB to suddenly break through!?
Zach Miller only caught 600 yards last season. And 5 touchdowns. Our so called top receiver...............That was only slightly more than Darren McFadden managed!
As I said, you just can't expect guys to catch 70 balls, and 1200 yards, when the QB is only completing 194 passes, and passing for 2500 yards in the entire season!Reggie Wayne catches 100 balls a year for 1200 yards. But Peyton Manning completes 450 for 4800 yards!
Reggie is only catching maybe 20% of all Mannings completions.
For DHB to match those numbers, he'd have to catch 60% of everything Campbell managed to connect with.......................3x Wayne's production.
Aint going to happen.
Fundamental problems with Oaklands passing game. And Pass blocking. Over the last 3-4 years.
Oakland aren't completing passes full stop.
Marcel Reese and Darren McFadden got more yards last year than DHB and Louis Murphy from passes.
Which means, in effect, Campbell spent a heck of a lot of time dumping the ball off to running backs, on short passes, as he probably didn't have the time to find an open receiver.
As I said, if DHB is in a side where the QB is completing 300-400 passes a year, and he's still catching nothing, then criticise the guy.