Howard can show off new skills at old team


ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Austin Howard will make his debut at his new position against his old team.

The Raiders signed Howard to a five-year, $30 million deal in free agency. The Raiders moved the tackle to right guard where the team feels he will fit in well.

"We're excited about having Austin in here," Oakland coach Dennis Allen said. "He's done a nice job in the transition. I think that's still a work in progress, but I think he's come a long way from when we first got him and I'm excited about watching him go out and play in a real live game at offensive guard."

A primary reason why Howard is in Oakland and why he is a guard is because of Oakland offensive line coach Tony Sparano. He coached Howard with the Jets.

"He was a big reason why I came," Austin said.

Allen gave the nod to Sparano as well.

"Tony had an opportunity to be there when he was with the Jets and Austin was there," Allen said. "They worked him some inside at guard, so we had a little insider information to know there was certainly that potential."

The Raiders hope Austin shows the Jets what they are missing at guard Sunday.