Week one of the NFL season is just days away for the Oakland Raiders. With preseason practices wrapping up in the near future, head coach Hue Jackson discussed a few issues with the local media.
Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times has a few quotes from earlier Monday:
When the Raiders resume practice Wednesday, they will welcome back veteran safety Matt Giordano. He was re-signed Tuesday, at the expense of veteran running back Michael Bennett.
"He's played the game at a very high level," Jackson said of Giordano. "He's played on some very good, quality teams. He's a great worker, has good range. He plays safety and can fill in on special teams, so he has some value."
As far as Giordano goes, keeping the safety appears to be a solid move. The 28-year old is reportedly a great teammate and goes the extra mile whenever need be. His versatility should also benefit the team, especially with the secondary looking spotty in the preseason.
It's no secret that Raiders managing general partner Al Davis covets speed above all else.
This year's team just might feature a collection of fast players that is unmatched in Raiders history. The key is, putting that speed to work for the Raiders and getting it to translate into more plays made.
"It's like we can have a track meet on the field with the guys we have out there," McFadden said. "It's not just about having speed. Guys have to be able to go out there and make plays. One thing we want to do is focus on making plays."
"You see me smiling, right?" Jackson said. "I'm very happy, very excited, about our football team. This is the team I envisioned we had the capability of being when this thing all started. The fun part is, now they're all healthy, almost all. You get to play with them a little bit and find out they are what I know they are. They're starting to showcase that."
As Corkran mentions, this 2011-12 Raiders team has a chance to be among the most athletic and speed-oriented teams in history. It remains to be seen if this speed with translate to the field, but if it does -- and the players use it to their advantage -- Oakland could cause a lot of problems for secondaries all around the league. It sounds like the coaching staff is ready and committed to using all of this speed in the games, as well.
Jackson still isn't prepared to announce who his starting wide receivers are going to be Monday night.
Based on performance in practice and exhibition games, it's clear cut that rookie Denarius Moore and Derek Hagan deserve to start against the Broncos.
Regardless of which players start the season, one thing is apparent: the Raiders have a ton of depth at wide receiver. Assuming guys like Jacoby Ford and Darrius Heyward-Bey are able to stay healthy and make strides from last season, quite a few players could be given the chance to emerge in 2011.
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