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Thursday, May 27, 2010
On the radar: Chaz Schilens

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

NFC On the Radar: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A player, coach or issue that should be on your radar as training camp approaches.

One of the reasons for hope in Oakland is young receiver Chaz Schilens. The seventh-round pick in 2008 has shown nice flashes. Many league observers think he has a chance to develop into a solid No. 1 receiver. He is the best of Oakland’s several young receivers.

Chaz Schilens
When healthy, receiver Chaz Schilens is a bright spot for the Raiders.
He has good hands. He’s big, fast and runs good routes. And he’s still learning. His upside is very high.

However, there is also a major injury concern. Schilens is still feeling the effects of a broken foot he suffered during training camp last year. He missed several games because of the surgically repaired foot. Then he had a follow-up surgery this offseason because of complications. He is expected to miss the rest of the offseason workouts, and he isn’t expected to be ready until training camp.

This isn’t disastrous news, but NFL teams have OTAs for a reason -- Schilens is missing valuable time. He has a new offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson, and he has to find a rhythm with new quarterback Jason Campbell. These things can be addressed during training camp, but it would be helpful for Schilens to have this time to work with the rest of the offense.

The biggest concern is if the foot will cause him any more problems during training camp. Two surgeries should do the trick. But the fact that he is still bothered by the injury nine months after it happened is cause for concern.

Oakland has to keep close tabs on Schilens and hope he is 100 percent once training camp arrives in late July. The Raiders are better team with Schilens than without him.