Friday, August 3, 2012
Evening AFC West notes
By Bill Williamson
The Raiders start to put in some 3-4 looks for the defense during practice Friday. The fact that they waited until the fifth day of camp is another strong sign that this will be a 4-3 base with the occasional 3-4 setup.
The Denver Post reports that Broncos safety Quinton Carter will miss the first two preseason games because he had minor knee surgery this week. He was hurt early in camp, where he was competing with Rahim Moore for a starting job. Denver is also looking at veteran Jim Leonhard. He reportedly is going to visit Saturday.
Great quote by Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles, who is coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, when asked about his confidence level: “I’m out here practicing every day. I’m not scared.”
According to reports, Oakland fifth-round pick Juron Criner had a huge day Friday. He was a star during organized team activities, so it is nice for the Raiders to see him play well in a camp practice. On the flip side, starting cornerback Shawntae Spencer has been struggling.
That is not good for a team without much veteran experience at the position. Yes, second-year cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke had a terrific week, but Spencer will be needed. At this point, injured veteran Ronald Bartell and Van Dyke might be your best bets to be the starting cornerbacks in Week 1.
After receiver Plaxico Burress mentioned the Raiders as a team he would play for, Oakland coach Dennis Allen was asked if the interest was mutual. Let’s be real. Burress will play anywhere that will sign him.
Allen didn’t kill the idea, saying that everything will be considered. But this is important: He didn’t add fuel, either. My take is that Oakland will continue to try to develop its young receivers. If the need for a veteran becomes apparent later in camp, perhaps the Raiders could investigate Burress, but I wouldn’t count on it.