KR-Carousel

First of all I was happy when I heard the news the Oakland Raiders brought in the extremely talented KR Trindon Holliday, then I got sad as I discovered we’d waived late-round draft pick Andre Debose…..now I’m happy again though as Debose has cleared waivers and we’ve stashed him on our injured reserve list.

There is very little draft-junkies, like myself, hate than losing draft picks (look at David Bass recently, cut and now playing for the Chicago Bears, its not as if we’ve been super-deep at pass-rushing DE’s), so to at least still have Debose I am very happy. The poor kid hurt his ankle – KR’s don’t historically have a long shelf life – but he’s explosive and I want to see what he can do next year, we need a Harvin-style WR to complement the rest anyway.

Back to Holliday, this kid is probably even more explosive…..his problem, thus far, has been fumbles. If our coaching staff can fix this we have a gem back there – remember his two touchdowns (one PR, one KR) for the Broncos in the playoffs a few years ago now.

Holliday is smaller (5’5″) than Debose (6’….mmm, on tip-toes?), and minus-fumbles a better returner, but in the long-run I’m happier with Debose. His school film, as a receiver is excellent, he upset some people in Florida and didn’t get the chance as a receiver. Anyway, while on IR can grow-up a bit (mentally), learn the playbook and bulk up a bit. Lets just think of Debose as essentially a free draft pick in 2016.

Other KR/PR options this year include Taiwan Jones, TJ Carrie and George Atkinson III. Jones has/had similar fumbling issues to Holliday, but again hopefully with coaching this has/will improve….I’d be more than happy with Taiwan returning kicks, we missed him last year. TJ Carrie is now too important as a CB, so don’t let him return kicks. George Atkinson III didn’t impress me enough last year, and is very unlikely to make the roster.

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Training Camp Battles

For me the key developments moving into training camp are at right tackle, cornerback depth, which WR doesn’t make the roster, punter, and I suppose at a push QB (although I expect Matt Flynn to win this battle). Expect a few surprises – positive ones too – this season, as we win a few more games than most analysts expect. I certainly don’t see us in the reconing for the number 1 pick next season.

The battle for Right tackle will hopefully be won by Menelik Watson, but lets be realistic starting the season will be Khalif Barnes. The key observation from camp though will be how much time Watson gets – sign your contract now – as he needs reps and offers much more than Barnes.

The WR’s look liek a nice group, unfortunately we can’t carry anymore than 7, probably 6, so some talent will have to be cut – expect camp to be informative as to developments here.

The QB battle I’ve dealt with before, so I wont go on about in any detail again, but I look forward to developments here – 3 players I like, which is a nice problem to have.

On special teams the punter postion is wide open, and although I’m rooting for Marquette King, it could easily be the old-head of Chris Kluwe that wins the job.

On the D, we have brought in a lot of new (youngish) talent, and I see a big improvement, particularly mentored as they will be by their new old-field coach Charles Woodson. I like most of the CB aquisitions we made this off-season, and indeed foresee camp deciding how the depth pans out, but don’t be at all surprised if we carry 6 CB’s this year. CB’s offer good special teams play, plus we have some good youngsters, that I personally don’t think we can risk losing, such as Taiwan jones, who although not ready yet offer glimpses.