Here are some quick hits about the first team organized activity, yesterday. The team met at their headquarters, playbooks were distributed and the players met each other.
Wheeler talks about being recruited
Also, Philip Wheeler spoke on a media conference call and said that he partially chose Oakland due to the coaching staff and schemes and partially due to the fans.
TFDS has already talked a bit about the fans roll in bringing Wheeler to Oakland here. He said that he gained about 2,000 followers from his Oakland visit which helped him make the decision to choose the Raiders, adding, "it showed me how big of a football city this is and how much they paid attention to football instead of going somewhere else. Indianapolis, it was pretty good football city, but the fans, they didn't' get more involved in media, and just showing us how much they care about the game. I always wanted to play in a big football for a legendary team, something like that and that kind of helped me choose Oakland."
Wheeler also said that he had known DC Jason Tarver because he met him when he was transitioning from college to the NFL and he felt comfortable with Tarver. He said the Raiders will be playing a blitzing scheme and mixing in multiple looks, many of which feature the linebacker and some of which will allow him to blitz which he never did in the Colts' schemes.
A funny side note to the conversation - Wheeler said he is somewhat familiar with the Raiders players already because he always picks the Raiders when playing Madden. Specifically, he said he likes to put QB Terrelle Pryor in and "run around with him." He said he picks the Raiders because "they were always bigger, faster and stronger than everybody."
There is a link to the transcript of his conference call here.
Derrick Jones cut
WR Derrick Jones, who suffered a season ending injury while in training camp and was on IR all of last seasn was cut today. Jones is 6'0", 195. He is now an unrestricted free agent but will have a hard time catching on to any other team. His contract with the Raiders was through 2015 with 2014 being a restricted free agent year. He was due to make $390,000 this season.
The Giants signed former Raiders and Colts S Stevie Brown yesterday. They are reportedly going to try out former Raiders LB Quentin Groves this week.
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I liked the signing of Wheeler to begin with and now I'm becoming a bigger fan of Wheeler. He seems to be saying all the right things like he was born to play in the Silver and Black.
Shame about Groves, I was hoping to see him re-signed on the cheap. And a Giants-Raiders connection on the cards also with us hosting Dave Tollefson.
I definitely like the fact that the Raiders are going to incorporate more of a blitzing scheme. This should really influence McKenzie's selections in the draft, defensively speaking, and hope he begins his first pick with either a Linebacker or Defensive End.... Speaking of Defensive End, Tyler Dickson wrote an excellent article a couple days back on Raiders- specific draft. He mentioned a guy named Jake Bequette from Arkansas as possibly being available by the time the Raiders first select in the end of the 3rd round. Defensive End is probably not the number 1 priority for the team, but Bequette is such a hard nosed, talented player, the Raiders might consider selecting him with their first pick. Bequette led the SEC in sacks in 2011, and with a blitz oriented defensive scheme, he might be a perfect fit for the Raider defense. If anyone is unsure who Bequette is, and hasn't watched him play, just watch some college tape of the guy. You can't help but walk away impressed.
@Spartacus I agree, being both a Raider and Razorback fan,Jake is a great role model,and gives it his all..I would love to have two HOGS on the team...WPS..GO RAIDERS...