The entire Oakland Raiders offseason has been about “out with the old and in with the new.” Their OTAs and minicamp were not any different. The team was looking to forget about last season and begin to look forward to the possibilities of better things in 2013. Here are five takeaways from the offseason workouts.
5. Youth being served
With the exceptions of Charles Woodson, Andre Carter, and Sebastian Janikowski the team is very light on veterans. Young players will have every chance to step up and make a name for themselves in Oakland this season. It is fair to say that almost every position on the team is open for competition.
4. Cornerback talent
Last season, Raiders cornerbacks suffered many injuries and depth was so limited, the team moved Michael Huff from safety to cornerback. The team hopes with the additions of Tracy Porter, Michael Jenkins, and the drafting of D.J. Hayden, they will cure the leaky secondary. Hayden does have some health concerns, but if he can stay on the field, he should be able to make a solid contribution.
3. No. 1 wide receiver
Denarius Moore has proven he is explosive, but he has not proven much else. Jacoby Ford has had injury problems over the last two seasons. He even tweaked his hamstring during the OTAs. The team is hopeful he can make a contribution this season, but that is yet to be seen. Rod Streater looked solid, but a lot guys look okay when they don’t fear being tackled. Josh Cribbs was signed but mainly for his return skills.
2. Linebackers Depth
The Raiders appear to be thin at linebacker. However, expect some of their younger guys to step up by mid-season. Third round pick, Sio Moore is looked upon as someone with nice upside. The team also expects Nick Roach to step up. Team management is hopeful his time behind Brian Urlacher, while with the Chicago Bears, will be an asset.
1. Starting quarterback
Early this offseason there was a thought that Terrell Pryor would get a look for the starting quarterback job. Then the team traded for Matt Flynn. Flynn was assumed the starter, but the team later drafted Tyler Wilson. Wilson impressed immediately, but since then Flynn has taken the reigns. Barring a horrible pre-season showing, he will be the starter.
What is interesting is Wilson, and not Pryor, look to be in the lead to be Flynn’s backup making the former Ohio State star a potential bust.