Friday, August 5, 2016

Players to Watch:

Linebacker Bruce Irvin: "Versatility" is the most prevalent buzzword in the NFL, but thanks to Irvin, the Raiders can show us a tangible definition. Pairing him with Khalil Mack could be a terrifying proposition for NFL offensive coordinators. The scroll of protection audibles alone could be a mile long. 

Irvin was an eight-sack rookie while playing under current Raiders defensive coordinator (and former Seahawks LB coach) Ken Norton Jr. in Seattle, and now he'll be in a more rush-heavy defense. Training camp will be a great way to discover just how often the team plans on letting both Mack and Irvin loose, and whether the new guy's experience as a traditional 4-3 linebacker will give Oakland the chance to throw out some more exotic looks.

Safety Karl Joseph
Joseph will start no matter what -- a ballhawk and brutal tackler like that doesn't waste away on special teams alone. Depending on how physical the Raiders want to be in training camp, we might not see some of his brightest attributes until the games count in September. 

Assuming Joseph survives the white-board tedium of late July and August, we should emerge from camp with a fuller picture of how the Raiders plan on using their first-round pick and whether he'll fit into the booming Kam Chancellor role that Norton is very familiar with.


Jalen Richard Opening Eyes In Training Camp

Undrafted free agent running back Jalen Richard is impressing spectators in training camp with his agility and decision making abilities. 

Oakland Raiders Training Camp 2016 is nearing a week of completion and the players have been showcasing their talent on a day-to-day basis. One player who has caught the attention of his coaches and peers is rookie running back Jalen Richard. He went undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft, but was picked up by the Raiders as a free agent and has made the most of his opportunities.

Richard attended the University of Southern Mississippi and over the course of those four years, he flashed potential, but truly revealed what he was capable of in his senior year. Richard split time at the running back position that season, but made the most of his opportunities by eclipsing 1,000 rushing yards and compiling an impressive 14 rushing touchdowns on 185 carries.

Part of what made Richard successful during his senior year of college was his elusiveness and ability to hide behind the offensive line and burst through a hole. These characteristics have attributed and translated over to his success with the Raiders so far.

“There’s definitely an advantage if you know how to use it to your advantage, really me and DeAndrĂ© [Washington] both. It’s crazy how identical we are as far as size, almost weight, and skill set. We use it to our advantage, the guys can’t really see us behind the line, we’re very precise in our cuts, and we have great vision,” said Richard.

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