AFC West: Lito Shepaprd

AFC West notes

October, 31, 2011
Here are some AFC West notes as I play catch-up upon my arrival in Kansas City:

Oakland coach Hue Jackson confirmed that the Raiders will work out former Cincinnati receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh on Tuesday. Houshmanzadeh, Carson Palmer and Hue Jackson were all in Cincinnati together. Here are my thoughts on the matter.
  • Oakland running back Darren McFadden didn’t practice Monday, the Raiders are hoping he can go Wednesday. He injured his foot in Week 7 against Kansas City.
  • Cut New England cornerback Leigh Bodden went unclaimed and now he can sign anywhere. There was a report that Kansas City could claim him. I could see Oakland showing interest. They have been looking at veteran cornerbacks for months.
  • Hence, the Lito Sheppard re-signing. He signed with Oakland on Monday. He spent some time with the Raiders this summer. Sheppard replaced kicker Dave Rayner. who was cut last week. Sheppard will wear No. 21 in Oakland. It was last worn by cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who departed to the Eagles as a free agent.
  • Former Dallas cornerback Tashard Choice was claimed by the Redskins. That means the running backs-needy Broncos did not put in a claim on him.

Oakland Raiders cutdown analysis

September, 3, 2011
Check here for a complete list of the Oakland Raiders’ roster moves.

Surprise move: Oakland cut several defensive backs, including Lito Sheppard, Walter McFadden, Jeremy Ware, Stevie Brown and camp star Sterling Moore. Veteran running back Michael Bennett and receiver/returner Nick Miller survived the cuts, which was somewhat unexpected. Oakland kept linebacker Darryl Blackstock, who had been out of the league. He played for Oakland defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan in the UFL. Quarterback Trent Edwards was cut after he was signed this summer with designs of being the backup. But Kyle Boller separated himself from Edwards. It’s a bit surprising Edwards was cut now with Terrelle Pryor starting a five-game suspension. Still, if he’s not picked up (perhaps Kansas City will be interested), Edwards could always be brought back to Oakland before Pryor joins the roster.

No-brainers: There was speculation receiver Chaz Schilens and safety Mike Mitchell (a second-round pick in 2009) could be on the chopping block. They made the team. Both have been dealing with injuries, but both players have potential. Now, if we’re still talking about injuries and untapped potential this time next year, their futures could become cloudy. But they both deserve to be in Oakland this season.

What's next: I think Oakland will continue to look for cornerbacks and safeties. The Raiders will also still look at weakside linebackers, and they will look to upgrade the offensive line. And I know Oakland likes its receivers, but I could also see it keeping an open mind about the position.
OAKLAND -- A look at the Oakland Raiders' 40-20 defeat to visiting the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night:

What it means: The Raiders bounced back well offensively after a flat performance at San Francisco last week, but their defense continued to be leaky in the third (and most important) preseason game.

Tomorrow’s talker: The Raiders’ first-team offense was solid. Quarterback Jason Campbell looked good. He completed 12 of 17 passes for 150 yards. He looks like he is improved from last year and he seems to be responding well to his coaching. If Campbell can continue to make strides, this offense has a chance to be strong. There is young, good talent here (I love rookies Denarius Moore and Taiwan Jones). The Raiders have potential to light up scoreboards.

Trending: The Oakland secondary is a concern in its post-Nnamdi Asomugha world. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees threw at will. He had 189 yards passing before leaving late in the second quarter. New Orleans converted six of eight third-down plays when Brees was on the field. Pass defense has been a problem for Oakland all summer and it continued Sunday night. I don’t know if newly signed Lito Sheppard is the answer, but he may get the chance to show he can still play. Rookie DeMarcus Van Dyke is not ready for the regular-season lights.

What’s next: The Raiders complete their preseason Friday night at Seattle. The game will have interest because rookie quarterback Terrelle Pryor is expected to play. Oakland drafted the former Ohio State quarterback in the supplemental draft on Monday.