Oakland and Houston both dealing with QB issues ahead of Saturday’s AFC Wild Card playoff game

Oakland Raiders quarterback Connor Cook passes against the Denver Broncos in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

OAKLAND, Calif — Now that the 2016 season is in the rear view mirror, the real fun begins: the playoffs.

No matter how you got there as a team, if you happen to be one of the 12 teams that have a shot at playing in Houston on Sunday Feb. 5 in Super Bowl LI for the Vince Lombardi trophy you earned your way to the Dance.

Needing just a win in Denver in Week 17 to clinch the AFC West title, the No. 2 seed, and a first-round bye, the Raiders squandered all of it by looking lethargic and disinterested in a 24-6 loss to the Broncos Sunday knocking the Silver and Black to the No. 5 seed.

No home playoff game or week off. All gone.

By virtue of their 37-27 win in San Diego Sunday, Kansas City (12-4), captured the AFC West crown and locked up the No. 2 seed and the first-round bye that comes with it.

In the process of the loss, Oakland (12-4) lost another quarterback when backup-turned-starter Matt McGloin left the game late in the second quarter with a shoulder injury.McGloin completed 6-of-11 passes for 21 yards and was ineffective in his first start since 2013 in place of franchise quarterback, Derek Carr.

Carr was having an MVP-type of season passing for 3,937 yards, 28 touchdowns and six interceptions before breaking his fibula against Indianapolis in a 33-25 Oakland victory on Christmas Eve.

Carr headlined a league-high seven Raiders that were selected to the AFC Pro Bowl team this season.

McGloin finished the game on the sideline as he watched rookie quarterback Connor Cook taking his first snap as a pro.

Oakland had more penalty yards (90) than on offense (50) in the first half as Denver racked up 254 yards of total offense.

Cook, who may find himself starting for the Silver and Black’s first playoff game since 2002 on Saturday when the 5-seeded Raiders travel to Houston for an AFC Wild Card game, completed 14-of-21 passes for 150 yards, a touchdown, and an interception in relief.

Kickoff is at 1:35 p.m. PT  at NRG Stadium.

Oakland is hoping that this won’t be the last time they travel to Houston for a big game this season, but all hands are definitely on deck.

According to a report by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Oakland is planning to sign journeyman quarterback Garrett Gilbert to the practice squad and could be active for the Wild Card game.

Gilbert, a former sixth round draft pick by in 2014 by the then-St. Louis Rams, spent all of last season on Oakland’s practice squad. Gilbert actually spent his rookie season with the New England Patriots and won a Super Bowl ring after being cut by the Rams.

The Raiders do have two dangerous pass-catchers in wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. Crabtree led Oakland with five catches for 47 yards, while Cooper hauled in four catches for 39 yards including a 32-yard catch for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Crabtree (89 catches/1,003 yards/8 TDs) and Cooper (83 catches/1,153 yards/5 TDs) became the first Raider duo with 1,000 yards in a season since Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (83 catches/1,139 yards/9 TDs) and Tim Brown (91 catches/1,165 yards/9 TDs) did it in 2001.

Latavius Murray powers an Oakland running attack that will need to bounce back after rushing for 57 yards against a Broncos’ defense that has had trouble stopping the run this season.

Murray, who led Oakland with 788 yards rushing this season on 195 carries, tied former Raiders running back Marcus Allen’s franchise record with 12 rushing touchdowns. The Hall of Famer scored 12 rushing touchdowns for the Raiders in 1990 when the Silver and Black called Los Angeles home.

When you share company with a player like Allen, who was one of the most prolific offensive players in league history, that’s saying something for Murray.

Oakland’s defense, which has been hot and cold this season, let Broncos running backs run freely for huge yardage. The backfield of Justin Forsett (22 carries for 90 yards) and Devontae Booker (14 carries, 57 yards, TD) gave Oakland fits all day, especially Booker.

Booker capped off an 8-play, 84-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown run to give Denver a 7-0 lead on the Broncos’ opening drive. Forsett’s 64-yard run (the longest run by a Broncos running back this season) on Denver’s third drive would set up a 22-yard field goal from kicker Brandon McManus that gave Denver a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Following a Raiders’ punt, Booker helped Denver stake a 17-0 lead shortly before halftime after taking a short pass from quarterback Trevor Siemian 43 yards for a touchdown.

But when you think hard about the chances for a Raiders’ victory, the more and more you got to believe that defensive end Khalil Mack and the defense will have to show up against a Houston team that has questions at quarterback of their own ahead of Saturday’s showdown in H-Town.

It’s only right since Mack is Oakland’s closer on defense, making game-changing plays in the fourth quarter when the Silver and Black have needed them.

Mack’s 11 sacks, five forced fumbles, and pick-6 has the third-year pro from Buffalo one of the favorites for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

The No. 4-seeded Texans (9-7) don’t know who will play quarterback for them Saturday. According to reports, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien is expected to name a starter Tuesday.

Newly minted started Tom Savage (5-of-8 for 25 yards) left Sunday’s game at Tennessee with a concussion and was replaced by former starter Brock Osweiler for the remainder of the game.

Savage did clear the league concussion protocol during the game, but was held out for Osweiler, who finished 21-of-40 for 253 yards and a touchdown in Houston’s 24-17 loss in Music City.

Osweiler, who signed to a four-year, $72 million contract ($37 million guaranteed) to be the Houston’s franchise quarterback after four seasons backing up future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning in Denver, had Houston in first place in the AFC South the entire year but has been inconsistent this season.

In 14 starts this season, Osweiler has thrown for 2,957 yards with 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Houston is 29th in the league in scoring at 17.4 points per game this season, and do have some play-makers of their own.

Running back Lamar Miller eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing plateau in his first year in Houston following four years in Miami. Miller had 268 carries for 1,073 yards and five touchdowns, but missed the last two games dealing with an ankle injury.

Miller is expected to play Saturday which is critical to Houston’s offense.

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is the Texans leading receiver with 78 catches for 954 yards, and is tied with tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz for the team lead with four touchdown catches.

Houston’s defense was expected to suffer without superstar defensive end J.J. Watt, who only played in three games this season due to back surgery, but the unit hasn’t taken a step back in Watt’s absence as it finished ranked No. 1 in total defense yielding just 301.3 yards per game to opposing offenses.

The Silver and Black finished the season ranked seventh in total offense, averaging 26 points and 373.2 yards per game, albeit with Carr in the lineup.

Linebackers Whitney Mercilus (7.5) and Benardrick McKinney (5.0), along with defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (6.0) combine for 18.5 of Houston’s 31 sacks this season.

McKinney leads Houston with 129 tackles, while Clowney was named to his first AFC Pro Bowl team.

This will be the second time that these two teams meet up this season.

Oakland scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to squeak past  Houston 27-20 in Week 11 in Mexico City. Houston held Oakland to just 120 yards offensively through the first three quarters.

The Raiders defense must do a better job on containing Miller this time around after allowing 24 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown to Houston’s starting running back in the last meeting.




Raiders try to wrap up AFC West title in Denver without Derek Carr in regular season finale

Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, left, watches as quarterback Derek Carr, bottom, is tended to by trainers during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

OAKLAND, Calif — With a playoff spot already in their back pocket, the Raiders have a chance to clinch the AFC West title with a win in Denver (or a Kansas City loss in San Diego) Sunday at 1:25 p.m. to close out the 2016 regular season at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

But the 12-3 Raiders are going to have to go out and win the division (and the AFC’s No. 2 seed) without franchise quarterback and MVP candidate Derek Carr. Carr fractured his right fibula during Oakland’s 33-25 win over the visiting Indianapolis Colts in Week 16 on Christmas Eve.

The third-year quarterback completed 21-of-31 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns before being helped off the field following a sack by Colts defensive end Trent Cole in the third quarter. Carr’s leg got stuck in the Oakland Coliseum turf as Cole spun Carr around, fracturing his right fibula. On the season, Carr passed for 3,933 yards, 28 touchdowns, and just six interceptions.

The loss of Carr is devastating for the Silver and Black as they embark on their first postseason appearance since 2002, but Carr’s backup Matt McGloin is a guy that is ready for the challenge of leading a very talented team.

“I feel great,” McGloin said this week via CBSSports.com. “I know this team, these guys around me, this staff and this organization will do a great job of helping me out, embracing me, and making sure we keep moving in the right direction.”

McGloin, who threw for 1,547 yards, eight touchdowns, and eight interceptions in six starts for Oakland in 2013, will have the same offensive unit that took down the Broncos 30-20 in Week 9 in front of the country on NBC’s Sunday Night Football in the first matchup.

In his career, McGloin has thrown for 1,847 yards with 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while completing 58.3 percent of his passes.

Starting running back Latavius Murray bludgeoned one of the league’s best defenses on 20 carries for 114 yards and three touchdowns that night in front of a sold out Raider Nation crowd at the Oakland Coliseum.

Rookie running back DeAndre Washington had career-day against the Colts, carrying the ball 12 times for a career-high 99 yards and two touchdowns, both for 22-yard scores that capped off four straight touchdowns for Oakland.

The tandem of Amari Cooper (78 catches, 1,110 yards, 4 TDs) and Michael Crabtree (84 catches, 956 yards, 8 TDs) are great weapons for the former Penn State quarterback to throw to.

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio believes in the closeness of his team and the coaches.

“We’ve got a good group of guys and a good group of men and a good group of coaches and players,” Del Rio said via CBSSports.com “who are going to work hard to put together a good plan, and we go out and expect to win.”

Denver (8-7), who will miss the playoffs this year after winning the Super Bowl last year, is coming off a 33-10 loss to Kansas City (11-4) on Christmas Night at frigid and rainy Arrowhead Stadium.

Kansas City racked up 484 yards of total offense and held a 21-7 lead in the first quarter against the once vaunted Broncos defense, highlighted by a 70-yard touchdown run by rookie speedster Tyreek Hill and an 80-yard catch-and-run score by tight end Travis Kelce.

Both Hill and Kelce were named to the AFC Pro Bowl team as starters with Hill being named as a return specialist for his first selection of his career.

Hill, who has superb hands is second on the Chiefs with 56 catches for 547 yards and six touchdowns, has 497 yards on 38 returns including a 78-yard punt return for a score against Oakland in a 21-13 victory on Dec. 9 in Kansas City.

Hill also has an 86-yard kickoff return for touchdown that helped Kansas City take the Broncos in overtime,  30-27, in Denver on Nov. 27.

Kelce earned his second-straight Pro Bowl nod by having another impressive year for Kansas City  with 84 catches for 1,117 yards and four touchdowns.

The playoff-bound Chiefs are hoping that Denver can knock off Oakland because a Raider loss would give Kansas City the No. 2 seed and the first-round bye, and knock Oakland to the No. 5 seed where they would open the playoffs on the road in either Pittsburgh or Houston on Wildcard Weekend.

But the Raiders have shown that they can win on the road this season going 6-1 (well 7-1 if you count playing in Mexico City that was technically considered a Raider “home” game), but that was with Carr under center, not McGloin.

Second-year quarterback Trevor Siemian has surpassed the 3,000-yard passing mark for the first time in his career with 3,195 yards, but has engineered a Broncos offense that scores just 20.6 points per game, 20th in the league.

Siemian has thrown for 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions with a 83.9 passer rating.

But according to Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak, Siemian will share some snaps this Sunday with former  first round draft pick Paxton Lynch.

“I think Trevor deserves the right to go back out there as a starter,” Kubiak said via the Denver Post. “He’s done a lot of good things this year. He’s a young player that needs to keep going.

“I want him to get the Kansas City taste out of his mouth. It was a tough outing. Paxton is also going to play. I’m preparing both and you’ll see them both in the game.”

Just like Oakland, Denver have a premiere wide receiving corps with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders leading the way.

Thomas leads the team with 86 catches for 1,036 yards and Sanders is second with 79 catches for 1,032 yards.

Both are tied for the team lead with five touchdowns a piece.

After starting the season 7-3, Denver is just 1-4 since.

Oakland won last season’s game in Denver on Dec. 13, 15-12, behind the dominate performance of defensive end Khalil Mack who tied a franchise-mark with five sacks off former Broncos quarterback now Houston Texas  high-priced backup, Brock Osweiler that day.

Oakland Raiders-Green Packers preview: Atkinson III, Raiders look for consistency in Green Bay

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

AP file photo: Oakland Raiders running back George Atkinson III jumps for joy with quarterback Derek Carr after scoring a second half touchdown against the Arizona Cardinal last Friday at the University of Phoenix in Glendale AZ

OAKLAND, Calif — The Raiders’ running game was highlighted during the team’s 31-10 win in Arizona to open the preseason last Friday night, thanks in large part to running back George Atkinson III.

Atkinson III, who was listed as the fourth-string running back on the team’s depth chart coming into the game, had touchdown runs of 53 and 35 yards.

Atkinson III finished with 97 yards on just five carries, mostly against Arizona’s reserves, but showed that he warrants a few more opportunities when Oakland travels to Green Bay to take on the Packers Thursday night in both team’s second preseason game.

Latavius Murray, Oakland’s 1,000-yard rusher from last season, is labeled the starter and should play more against Green Bay after just four carries, while rookie running back DeAndre Washington is expected to be a major contributor in Oakland’s office this year.

Can Atkinson III continue to put the pressure on fellow Bay Area native Jamize Olawale and undrafted rookie running back Jalen Richard, who has been recovering from injury to be the team’s third running back?

One battle that intrigues me the most this preseason for Oakland is the race between incumbent Matt McGloin and rookie Connor Cook.

McGloin engineered back-to-back drives ending in touchdown passes of 19 and 10 yards, finishing 5-for-11 for 41 yards after taking over for Carr midway through the first quarter.

McGloin played into the third quarter before giving way to Cook, who went 7-for-11 for 71 yards in his appearance. Cook could see increased reps on Thursday, but McGloin still has the inside track as the team’s No. 2 quarterback given the fact that he has started six games (all in 2013) in his four years with the Raiders.

Oakland didn’t do itself any favors against Arizona, regardless of the score.

The Raiders committed 11 penalties for 86 yards, not to mention struggling to tackle in the open field. Both the penalties and missed tackles have to decrease throughout the preseason if Oakland is going to be one of the better teams in the regular season.

Green Bay is coming off a 17-11 win over the visiting Cleveland Browns last Friday night, with several key players, most notably starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, sitting out.

Undrafted rookie quarterback Joe Callahan,  passed for 124 and a touchdown while completing 16-of-23 passes while getting the start in place of Rodgers.

Rodgers, who is one of the top-five quarterbacks in the league, doesn’t need the preseason to get ready. There are reports that Green Bay’s star quarterback won’t suit up for Thursday night’s contest.

With the first wave of roster cuts less than two weeks away, the second preseason game is vital for a bubble guy like Atkinson III to build off the success from the previous game and the reps in practice to strengthen their position on the roster.




Raiders host Seahawks in preseason finale

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — As the NFL preseason draws to a close, the Raiders will host Oakland native Marshawn Lynch and the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks at O.co Coliseum Thursday night as both teams look to finish off strong before the games start to really count.

Oakland is coming off their third preseason game, losing to the Packers, 31-21, in Green Bay last week. The Raiders first-team defense played strong early, forcing the Packers into back-to-back three-and-out drives and three straight punts in the first  quarter. Rookie linebacker Khalil Mack was active all over the field, collecting five tackles and an interception.

Linebackers Miles Burris and Nick Roach each finished with six tackles, while defensive end LaMarr Woodley recorded his first sack as a Raider.

Offensively, Oakland’s first-team showed progress, after running back Maurice Jones-Drew stormed for a 40-yard touchdown run on the Raiders’ first possession to tie the game at 7-7, after Eddie Lacy’s 1-yard run on Green Bay’s first possession.

Quarterback Matt McGloin, who has made a strong case to be the Raiders’ No. 2 quarterback, finished 10-of-17 for 162 yards passing, and two touchdowns, both to wide receiver, Bryce Butler. Butler added three catches for 60 yards receiving.

Even with McGloin’s impressive play, rookie quarterback Derek Carr is slated to start Thursday. Carr sat out the Green Bay game to rest his bruised ribs he suffered in Oakland’s second preseason game.

Seattle showed why many experts believe that they can repeat as Super Bowl champions with another dominating performance, dropping the Chicago Bears, 34-6 at home.

Quarterback Russell Wilson looked in midseason form, scoring three touchdowns (2 passing, 1 rushing) while passing for 202 yards on 15-of-20 passes. Wilson also had a robust 140.o quarterback rating.

Lynch, who held out the early part of training camp after being unhappy with his contract, had three carries for 16 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown run on the Seahawks’ opening drive of the game. Lynch would watch the remainder on the game from the sidelines, tossing the cleats for some basketball shoes.

Even the Seahawks’ punishing defense appears to be ready for another run at the Lombardi trophy, having surrender only 20 points in three preseason games.

Oakland will also see a familiar face Thursday, with Terrelle Pryor returning to the Black Hole. It will be a good test for the Raiders’ defense who haven’t faced a quarterback with the frame and elusiveness quite like Pryor.

Both teams will see each other during the regular season, when the Silver and Black travel to CenturyLink Field for a Week 9 match-up.

With all 32 teams having to reduce their rosters down to 53 players by Saturday, August 30, it will be a busy week in Oakland. The Raiders have 10 open positions on the practice squad to fill as well.

After Thursday night’s game, the Seahawks will open up their title defense on Sept. 4 when they will host the Green Bay Packers, while Oakland will begin the season on the road when they will travel 3,000 miles to New York and face the Jets on Sept. 7.

You can watch the game on KTVU/FOX 2, or listen on 98.5 KFOX.

The Silver and Black Readies for Green Bay

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — After splitting the first two preseason games against the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions, the Oakland Raiders will play their third and final NFC North opponent when they head to Green Bay to take on the Packers Friday night. Friday night’s encounter with the Packers will be a nationally televised game, airing on CBS with JimNantz and Phil Simms in the booth.

The Silver and Black are coming off a dramatic, 27-26, victory at home against the Lions last Friday night.

Matt McGloin engineered a 13-play, 68-yard drive that was punctuated by a 19-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Brice Butler with just 0:06 remaining. McGloin finished 7-of-15 for 114 yards passing after replacing Derek Carr midway through the fourth quarter, after Carr left the game with what was later diagnosed as a concussion and bruised ribs. Carr did play well before leaving the game, finishing 9-of-16 for 109 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown to tight end Jake Murphy in the third quarter.

Carr passed the standard concussion test as per protocol by the NFL, but won’t play in Friday’s game due to the linger pain in his ribs.

Oakland’s defense got off to a rough start early, finding themselves down 13-0 in the first quarter, but settled down as the game wore on.

One of the team’s key free agent acquisitions in the offseason, cornerback Terrell Brown was burned for a 28-yard touchdown by Detroit’s wide receiver Golden Tate (Detroit’s biggest offseason acquisition).

Linebackers Nick Roach and Khalil Mack each recorded a sack. Mack also finished with two tackles, and appeared more active on the field as he transitions to the speed of the NFL.

Green Bay went into St. Louis and imposed their will on the Rams, leaving the Edward James Dome with a commanding 21-7 victory Saturday night.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked nearly flawless win short work, running the no huddle offense to perfection. Rodgers went 11-of-13 for 128 yards passing, including a 3-yard score to wide receiver Randall Cobb.

Packers linebacker Brad Jones had four tackles, and rookie safety Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix finished with two tackles, and a sack.

The game can be seen locally on KPIX Channel 5, and heard on 98.5 KFOX with the voice of the Raiders, Greg Papa and two-time Super Bowl winning coach, Tom Flores with the call.

Both teams finish up the preseason next Thursday, when the Raiders host the Super Bowl champions Seattle Seahawks, and the Packers will face the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field.

NFC North again? Oakland welcomes Detroit in preseason home opener.

By. Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — With two rough and tough practices with the Dallas Cowboys under their belts where tempers were hotter than the Oxnard sun that both teams practiced under this week, the Raiders will try to keep that same intensity when they host their first preseason game at O.co Coliseum Friday night against the visiting Detroit Lions.

It will be the second consecutive time Oakland will face a team from the NFC North as the Raiders fell to the Minnesota Vikings, 10-6, in Minneapolis last Friday.

The first-team offense was anemic early with anointed starter Matt Schaub at one point, finding themselves down 10-0. Schaub finished 3-of-7 for 21 yards, but was plagued by three dropped passes that could’ve turned into first downs.

Matt McGloin played well with the second-team offense, finishing with a team-high11-of-18 for 90 yards and a 10-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that pulled Oakland within a score.

“I thought our guys came back and fought. I thought late in the game we were able to move the ball a little bit…I thought at times we could run the ball pretty well,” said Raiders head coach Dennis Allen after the game. “There are some positives there that we can take and continue to work with but obviously we have a long, long way to go as a football team to be the type of team that we want to be, but I’m sure our guys are going to continue to work.”

Derek Carr, the Raiders second round draft pick, finished 10-of-16 for 74 yards and an interception.

Darren McFadden finished with one carry on a nice 23 yard-burst in the first quarter, while Maurice Jones-Drew had 10 yards on two carries (he had a 7-yard run called back due to a penalty).

Overall, Oakland outgained the Vikings, 268-236 in total yards.

Defensively, Oakland looked sound, finishing with six sacks. Defensive tackle Pat Sims recorded a sack on the first drive of the game.

The Lions (1-0) are coming off a 13-12 home victory over the Cleveland Browns to kickoff their preseason schedule.

Detroit backup quarterback Kellen Moore threw for 121 yard on11-of-13 passing, including the game-winning touchdown from 21-yards out to wide receiver Corey Fuller with 1:05 remaining in the fourth quarter.

On the defensive side of the ball for Detroit, safety Isa Abdul-Quddus and linebacker George Johnson had great showings, combining for six tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception.

After Friday’s game, Oakland will continue their through the NFC North when they will travel to Green Bay for their third preseason game against the Packers.

Raiders cut Kluwe and Wilson, pick up McClain and Sanford

by David Zizmor

ALAMEDA–The Raiders held the press releases of who was getting cut from the team after the pre season concluded on Saturday and the team made sure that the players didn’t use twitter to tweet who got cut from the team. The Raiders were the last team to release the list of cuts in the NFL. The biggest name that got cut was Andre Carter the man originally drafted by the 49ers about ten years ago he’s made his way around the league.
It’s a bit surprising that Carter was cut because the Raiders defense is so inexperienced that Carter was one of the few players on that team that had some pass rushing success. So seeing Carter go was a bit surprising because they really don’t have any other pass rushers and that’s an area where their going to be very deficient.
If you want to take a look at some strange things you could look at the Raiders roster and where they were they started Sunday with two punters and four quarterbacks that was very unusual but Sundayafternoon the Raiders cut quarterack Tyler Wilson and punter Chrs Kluwe. The three Raiders quarterbacks that remain are Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor, and Matt McGloin and punter Marquette King.  Most teams keep only three quarterbacks and one punter, the Raiders decided they couldn’t make a decision on either of those decisions Saturday but decided Sunday they had to make a move with Kluwe and Wilson leaving the Raiders to pick up guard Antonie McClain from the Baltimore Ravens and and defensive tackle Brian Sanford from the Cleveland Browns . With the quarterbacks it makes sense for the simple fact of the matter they have three guys and they needed help in other areas and that’s why they made room for McClain and Sanford.
The Raiders traded for quarterback Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor had been pretty decent in the pre season they wouldn’t cut him. They drafted Tyler Wilson in the fourth round and they cut him he didn’t play all that well in the pre season and frankly he didn’t play all that well in the fourth game. Then there was Matt McGloin an undrafted free agent out of Penn State he looked pretty good in the pre season and expected that he would make the team when they signed him in the first place.
McGloin played so well in the pre season the Raiders were left no choice and the final choice came down to McGloin and Wilson and while Wilson didn’t prove himself the Raiders felt that they couldn’t waste him and they didn’t want to admit wasting a fourth round pick so soon so the Raiders had to keep him one way or the other that all changed when the Raiders had the need for McClain and Sanford in the guard and tackle positions.
As for the punting situation the Raiders made a point of releasing Kluwe he’s a good punter but not a great punter, this after letting Shane Lechler the Raiders long time punter go in the off season the bottom line in these cuts is nobody knew what the Raiders were doing. There had been some word that the Raiders would try to trade one of their punters it’s not like there’s a ton of punter trades that happens in the NFL but the Raiders have kept King as their punter and cut Kluwe.
So the Raiders will have settled on going with King, their going with one punter instead of two, they like King and feel he could help the team most with long kicks and what they’ve seen of him in pre season.
If you look at the remaining cuts that the Raiders made there’s no names that really stand out, on the Raiders roster there’s a lot of guys you never heard of it was going to be the case one way or the other. Again it’s going to be a long season the Raiders are going to have to find guys they think that can produce and that’s what they believe and that’s what they’ve done.
David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio