AFC West: Roscoe Parrish
Most significant move: Putting starting linebacker Aaron Curry on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. He has been out all camp with knee problems. This is good news, because there was a thought he could end up on the injured reserve. Now Curry can come back to practice Oct. 16. He will likely be replaced in the starting lineup by fourth-round pick Miles Burris. I think Oakland will look for some linebackers in the coming days as well. As expected, young tight end David Ausberry made the team and he will continue to develop. They are high on sixth-round pick, defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi. He is raw, but he has big potential and he can learn without urgency because he is on a top-notch line. Cornerback Bryan McCann made the team and he could be the starting punt returner. As expected, punt returner Roscoe Parrish, who was cut by the Chargers on Monday and quickly signed by the Raiders, was cut after he fumbled two punts Thursday at Seattle.
Onward and upward: Defensive lineman Dominique Hamilton was caught in a numbers game. He was impressive in the preseason but he is likely headed to the practice squad. Rookie free-agent receiver Derek Carrier is probably not headed to the practice squad at this point. The team was very high on him after the draft, but he fell behind other rookie receivers such as fifth-round pick Juron Criner and fellow undrafted rookie Rod Streater. Both those players made the team and should be part of the rotation. However, rookie receiver Brandon Carswell could be practice-squad bound. Rookie linebacker Chad Kilgore could also be headed to the practice squad. He looked good in the preseason. Linebacker Nathan Stupar, a seventh-round draft pick, was a surprise cut after he had a strong preseason. I could see him being claimed elsewhere. If not, I'm sure Oakland will try to put him on the practice squad.
What’s next: I expect the Raiders to be very busy in the next few days. Depth is a big problem because of a salary-cap issue and a lack of draft picks the past two years. The Raiders’ lack of depth was a serious problem in the preseason. I think the Raiders could use help at running back, tight end, the offensive line, and linebacker and in the secondary. Yes, they could be busy. Among the players Oakland could look at include Rock Cartwright, Tim Hightower, Joselio Hanson, Justin Miller and Chris Cooley. Oakland could also be on the lookout for a pass-rusher. It worked out Andre Carter recently, but he reportedly isn’t healthy enough to sign anywhere.
It was a night for the backups for the Raiders and it looked like it.
The Raiders weren’t very good, but not many of these players will even be factors in the regular season. But it shows the biggest problem this team has -- depth.
Backup running back Mike Goodson had 26 yards on eight carries and Taiwan Jones added 12 yards on seven carries. I’ll say it once again: Oakland needs another backup running back behind Darren McFadden for depth purposes.
Terrelle Pryor wasn’t as dynamic against Seattle as he was against Detroit last week. After playing like a star late in that previous outing, Pryor wasn’t overly productive Thursday. That’s OK. He is a project. Sure, we might see some Pryor packages this season, but he is still a developing player.
Seattle ran and passed at will against an Oakland defense that was pretty strong in the preseason.
Rookie linebacker Nathan Stupar had a big night and should make the team when the roster is trimmed to 53 players Friday.
Newly signed punt returner Roscoe Parrish fumbled twice. I could see Parrish, cut by San Diego on Monday, getting the axe. Cornerback Coye Francies, claimed this week, also fumbled a punt. He could easily get cut Friday as well. If so, Oakland could look for a punt returner because of injuries. Punt returners are easy to find on the waiver wire. It could keep Bryan McCann as well. He had a nice game as a returner and a cornerback Thursday.
Here are my thoughts on the addition from an earlier post. Parrish was cut by the Chargers Monday. To make room for Parrish on the 75-man roster, offensive lineman Zach Hurd was waived.
The Raiders have not confirmed the signing. I don’t see this as a major impact signing for Oakland. Sure, he may make the final 53-man team initially, but Parrish, 30, is on the decline. If he wasn’t, he would have made it past the early cuts in San Diego.
This signing is all about insurance for Oakland. Starting receiver Denarius Moore has been out with a hamstring injury and receiver/returner Jacoby Ford has been dealing with a sprained foot. The Raiders have been using several different players at returner. Cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke is the latest to get a shot at punt returner.
Thus, Parrish is simply veteran insurance. Perhaps he will be lightning in a bottle, but he is being brought to Oakland because of injuries.
In other AFC West news:
Are the Chiefs considering adding a couple of veteran players?
It was previously reported that receiver/returner Roscoe Parrish was cut. He was out played by Micheal Spurlock, who should make the team. The other interesting name cut was running back Michael Hayes. There was a thought early in the preseason that he could make the team.
The other players cut Monday were long snapper Nick Guess, tackle Phil Trautwein, defensive tackle Garrett Brown, tackle Michael Toudouze, receiver Jason Barnes, receiver Taylor Embree, receiver Phillip Payne, defensive tackle Eddie Brown and tight end Brad Taylor.
Rookie guard Johnnie Troutman was placed on Reserve Non-Football Injury list. Guard Brandyn Dombrowski was put on the Reserve Non-Football Illness list because of cyst on his foot.
U-T San Diego is reporting that Chargers coach Norv Turner said Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates will play some Thursday night at San Francisco. Usually, starters play extensively in the third preseason and little if at all in the final preseason game.
However, Rivers and Gates were held out of Friday's Minnesota game. The Chargers were without three starting offensive linemen, so keeping Rivers out was the smart move. Getting him some work against the 49ers is also the smart move, because it would not be wise for Rivers to face Oakland on Sept. 10 without the benefit of playing for three-plus weeks.
In other AFC West news:
- U-T San Diego confirmed receiver/kick returner Roscoe Parrish has been cut. It’s not a surprise Parrish was outplayed by fellow newcomer receiver/returner Michael Spurlock. He should make the team.
- Kansas City cornerback Brandon Flowers is still not practicing because of a foot injury he suffered July 31. With the regular season starting in 13 days, it is safe to say Flowers is in jeopardy of missing the opener against the pass-happy Falcons.
- Buffalo released quarterback Vince Young. While none of the backup quarterback situations in the AFC West are great, I don’t see any of the teams in the division running to sign Young.
- Warring Raiders’ fans, you may not like this story.
It is not a slam-dunk that defensive end Dave Tollefson will sign with the Raiders. However, as of Wednesday evening, Oakland is still considered the favorite to land him. He is set to visit with the Titans on Thursday; other teams are interested. The Raiders might be willing to give Tollefson the most money. He will be a key backup if he signs in Oakland.
Defensive end Luis Castillo -- who re-signed with the Chargers on Wednesday after being cut in a salary-cap move -- is prepared to regain his starting job. He suffered a leg injury in Week 1 last season and was out for the year. The Chargers are high on young ends Corey Liuget and Vaughn Martin. At the very least, Castillo will be part of San Diego's rotation.
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
On the eve of the NFL draft, here is an AFC West primer as we prepare for a busy weekend:
Will Kansas City trade down? The Chiefs have the No. 3 overall pick. The team would likely be interested in trading down for cost reasons. Many teams would probably want to move down but not many want to move up into the top five. If the Chiefs don't move down, they will likely take Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry. But that's the safe pick. New Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli likes to make splashes. So, his first draft move in Kansas City may not be by the book.
|Jody Gomez/US Presswire|
|Will former USC QB Mark Sanchez fall to Denver at No. 12?|
When will Denver take its quarterback? Denver will surely take a quarterback to begin the post-Jay Cutler era, but the question is when. The Broncos' workout with USC's Mark Sanchez this week was intriguing. If Sanchez is available at No. 12, Denver may be tempted to jump on him. Still, it is new Denver coach Josh McDaniels' tendency to take a quarterback in the late rounds because that's the way New England does it. McDaniels had success with late-round quarterbacks Tom Brady and Matt Cassel. McDaniels was enamored with quarterback Kevin O'Connell last year and New England took him in the third round. If Sanchez is not the guy in Denver, perhaps lower-round prospects such as Texas Tech's Graham Harrell, Texas A&M's Stephen McGee, Louisville's Hunter Cantwell or Michigan State's Brian Hoyer will be McDaniels' next project.
With Tony Gonzalez traded to Atlanta, will the Chiefs continue to trade veterans? If Kansas City is going to part with Brian Waters, Larry Johnson or Glenn Dorsey, it will likely be this weekend. I think Waters may be the most likely to go. Here's a deal I think would work: Waters to Buffalo for receiver/returner Roscoe Parrish. Buffalo has shopped Parrish. He'd fit in with the Chiefs, as would Waters in Buffalo.
Will the Chargers pick up a second-round choice? It will not be a surprise if the Chargers move down from the No. 16 pick. The idea would be to choose lower in the first round and pick up a second-rounder in the process. The Chargers don't currently have a second-round pick. If the Chargers manage to get a second-rounder, I could see them getting a defensive player in the first round and hoping a running back such as Connecticut's Donald Brown is available in the second round. He could be a bargain pickup and a future successor to LaDainian Tomlinson.
Will these names end up in the AFC West? Look for these names in the first round: Michael Crabtree, B.J. Raji, Rey Maualuga and Tyson Jackson. I'm predicting at least one of these four players will end up in the AFC West. All four players are being looked at by multiple teams in the division. Crabtree, a receiver from Texas Tech, could end up in Kansas City or Oakland. Raji, a defensive tackle from Boston College, could end up in any of the four AFC West cities (although it would be a shock if he fell to San Diego). Maualuga could be drafted by Denver or San Diego. Jackson could be taken by Kansas City (he'd be a huge reach at No. 3, though), Denver or San Diego.
Will the Raiders break their unlucky 7 streak? The Raiders have the No. 7 pick for the third time since 2005. The number hasn't been kind to Oakland. In 2005, Oakland traded the pick for Randy Moss, who was sent to New England two years later for a fourth-rounder. The next year, Oakland bypassed Cutler (despite a need for a quarterback) and took Michael Huff. Huff has moved from cornerback to safety in the NFL and has yet to make an impact.
Will the 3-4 defense rule the draft? With Denver and Kansas City transitioning to the scheme and San Diego already using it, expect this to be a trend this weekend. Players who fit the 3-4 scheme aren't easy to find, but it will be a goal of both Denver and Kansas City to try to find the correct pieces this weekend. Denver could benefit from Aaron Maybin and Brian Orakpo falling down the draft board if Raji and Jackson rise up it. All four players will fit the 3-4.
Does Oakland like Crabtree or Maclin? I believe the Raiders want to take a receiver with their top pick. If Crabtree and Missouri's Jeremy Maclin are both on the board, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. Some people think Crabtree will be the choice, while others think Maclin will be the guy. Crabtree is considered to be a more complete player, but Maclin is a speedster. Crabtree has been compared to Larry Fitzgerald, whom the Raiders bypassed five years ago in favor of offensive lineman Robert Gallery with the No. 2 pick. Maclin has been compared to Cliff Branch, who was a star for the Raiders in the 1970s and 1980s.
Will San Diego take a standout defender? While the Chargers could use a running back and an offensive lineman, their greatest needs are on defense. Here are some names to keep an eye on: Maualuga, Jackson, Ohio State cornerback (he'd be a safety in San Diego) Malcolm Jenkins and Maybin. If Maybin, who could be a top-10 pick, is available, he would be a great fit in San Diego. With linebacker Shawne Merriman returning from a knee injury and Ron Rivera in control of the defense from the start of the season, the Chargers may be a top defender away from fielding an elite defense.
Could Chris "Beanie" Wells be headed to the AFC West? While it may be a mild surprise, it wouldn't be a shock if either San Diego or Denver (at No. 18) takes the Ohio State running back. It would be a luxury addition in both cities, but adding Wells could shake up the division offensively.
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
Both Denver and Kansas City are beginning new programs with pass-happy coaches Josh McDaniels and Todd Haley, respectively. Both coaches love multi-receiver sets. In Denver, Parrish could play the role of Wes Welker (who McDaniels coached in New England) in the slot and he would be the perfect complement to Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal. The Chiefs also could use another receiver and Parrish would fit in there well.
Parrish is one of the premier punt returners in the league. He'd help both Denver and Kansas City in that area as well. McDaniels and new Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli are both from New England and they saw Parrish up close twice a season in the AFC East.
With Parrish's role diminished in Buffalo, the Bills likely won't ask too much for him. He'd be well worth a mid-round draft pick for both the Broncos and the Chiefs. Both teams need to consider this option.