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Friday, July 29, 2011
Crucial time for Stanford Routt & Co.

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Its Stanford Routt's time to show those glossy numbers from last season were no fluke.

Routt is about to be tested.

Unless the Raiders snare a veteran like Antonio Cromartie or Nate Clements, Routt is expected to the Raiders’ No. 1 cornerback now that Nnamdi Asomugha has flown off to the Eagles.

The Raiders clearly anticipated that. They gave him a three-year, $30 million deal to keep him from entering free agency. That’s starter money, folks.

One of the reasons why the Raiders paid to keep Routt was his outstanding statistics. His “burn rate’ was one of the lowest in the NFL in 2010. Now, that he will be a full-time starter and now that he’ll likely play against the opponent’s best receivers all the time, Routt must step up.

He is not alone. The Raider’s young cornerbacks and veteran Chris Johnson will need to elevate their game if the Raiders don’t add a starter.

Youngsters Walter McFadden, Jeremy Ware and draft picks Chimdi Chekwa and DeMarcus Van Dyke will all be expected to contribute in Asomugha’s absence.