Oakland Raiders: Jacoby Ford

Rookie glance: WR Brice Butler

February, 25, 2014
Feb 25
How acquired: Seventh-round draft pick (No. 209 overall) out of San Diego State

2013 season: Considered somewhat of a reach pick so late in the draft, Butler had NFL bloodlines as his father Bobby was a first-round pick and 12-year veteran as a defensive back with the Atlanta Falcons from 1981 through 1992. But Raiders receivers coach Ted Gilmore had the younger Butler at USC (Butler transferred to SDSU for his last season) and obviously liked him. Butler played in 10 games, starting two. He was active in the Raiders’ first seven games, and caught a pass in his first six NFL games, but none after Oct. 13. For the season, Butler caught nine passes for 103 yards, averaging 11.4 yards per catch.

Looking ahead: A “tweener” as a receiver -- he’s not a big possession guy, nor is he a prototypical burner. Being inactive for four of Oakland’s last five games, including the final three, might not bode well for his future with the Raiders, especially if they draft Sammy Watkins. But Butler has nice hands, he does appear to be ahead of 2012 draft pick Juron Criner on the depth chart, and veteran Jacoby Ford will be an unrestricted free agent.

The Raiders’ other 2013 rookies that finished the season on the roster: DT Stacy McGee, TE Mychal Rivera, RB Latavius Murray, TE Nick Kasa, LB Sio Moore, OT Menelik Watson, CB D.J. Hayden, DE Ryan Robinson, CB Chance Casey, S Shelton Johnson, WR Greg Jenkins, OG Lamar Mady, and QB Matt McGloin.
ALAMEDA, Calif. – Two mistakes, really, stand out when it comes to Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin’s play last week at the Dallas Cowboys.

There was the fumbled snap inside the Raiders 5-yard line that was recovered by the Cowboys and, one play later, Dallas converted into its first touchdown late in the first quarter to tie the game, 7-7.

[+] EnlargeMatt McGloin
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsRaiders QB Matt McGloin said he's determined not to repeat the same mistakes he made in a loss to Dallas last week.
Then there was McGloin’s ill-fated decision to throw a jump ball to the 5-foot-9 Jacoby Ford in the end zone that, had it been completed, would have tied the game at 28-28, with the extra point, midway through the fourth quarter. Instead it was intercepted by the 6-foot Brandon Carr, and the Cowboys went on to win, 31-24.

And as the Raiders prepare for the New York Jets, one of McGloin’s purported greatest strengths in his nascent NFL career is to learn from his mistakes.

“He’s been pretty good, as far as getting the ball out with timing, throwing the ball accurately,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “We’ve been able to get some explosive passes down the field, so I just really want to see him continue.

“He’s still a young player. Unfortunately for us, both the quarterbacks that we’ve played the majority of the season with are really relatively young at the position. You want to see those guys continue to grow.”

Truly, the only way McGloin and Terrelle Pryor can grow is by learning from their mistakes, right?

“I think so,” McGloin said. “I think any time you watch film or you watch your last game, you pick up on things that you can’t believe happened. Last week, the fumbled snap, I’ve been snapping with that guy [Stefen Wisniewski] since college. Things like that happen that shouldn’t have happened.”

Then what about the end zone pick?

“Another bad, bad mistake by me,” McGloin said. “It’s stuff like that that you can’t believe happened. But at the same time you learn from it and you gain experience from it. You keep improving and hope the next time those plays come around, you don’t make the same mistake twice.”

Because while the fumbled snap could be seen as a physical mistake, the throw to Ford was a mental miscue.

“It was just a bad decision by me.” McGloin said. “The matchup wasn’t great. Obviously, Jacoby isn’t the biggest guy in the world for a jump ball. Not taking anything away, he’s a great player for us. That just wasn’t a good decision by me. I have to make a better decision there.”

You could forgive McGloin for forcing the action. After all, he is an undrafted rookie who entered training camp as a fourth-stringer, behind Tyler Wilson, Pryor and Matt Flynn and is still trying to prove himself.

But while McGloin does pride himself on correcting his mistakes quickly, the key is employing said solutions on the field.

“You have to, especially at the quarterback position,” he said. “You have to learn from your mistakes and move on because everyone’s expecting you not to make the same mistake twice. If you do, you’re not going to be in a starting position for long.”

Just ask Flynn … or even Pryor.

Upon Further Review: Raiders Week 13

November, 29, 2013
An review of four hot issues from the Oakland Raiders' 31-24 loss to the Dallas Cowboys:

A silver lining: The injury to receiver Denarius Moore more than opened the door for former Cowboys wideout Andre Holmes, who put on a show against his one-time team in catching seven passes for a game-high 136 yards. Especially when you consider he entered the game with five career catches for 76 yards. Bittersweet? “It felt good,” he said. “If I had a calendar, I checked this game because I wanted to come here and play well in front of a team I had played for. It just sucks we didn't get the win.” Said Raiders QB Matt McGloin: “He's a guy I definitely trust. … He's a guy that will go and get the ball for you.”

[+] EnlargeOakland's Andre Holmes
Tim Heitman/USA TODAY SportsAndre Holmes had seven catches 136 yards against his former team.
McGloin takes a step back? After being a profile in efficiency in the first half -- he was 11-for-15 passing for 146 yards -- McGloin was 7-15 for 109 yards after halftime and had a costly end-zone interception when the Raiders were attempting to tie the game at 28-28 with 8:39 to play. He attempted a fade or jump-ball pass to the 5-foot-9 Jacoby Ford, who was covered by the 6-foot Brandon Carr. “If it was a touchdown,” McGloin said, “nobody would have thought a thing about it.” Actually, had Ford caught it, there would have been a lot of talk as it would have been his first TD catch since Nov. 6, 2011.

Injuries: Right guard Mike Brisiel was lost for the game after the first play with a knee injury. He was replaced by Andre Gurode, who was replaced after four false start penalties by Lucas Nix. Also injured: running back Rashad Jennings (concussion), safety Usama Young (stinger), linebacker Kaluka Maiava (calf) and cornerback Mike Jenkins (stinger).

Of explosive plays XII: And now for our weekly tracking of “explosive” plays. As deemed by coach Dennis Allen, such a play is one that gains at least 16 yards through the air, 12 yards on the ground. The Raiders had seven such plays against the Cowboys, all passes. Dallas had five explosive plays, one run and four passes. In 12 games, the Raiders have 86 explosive plays (24 runs, 62 passes), with three TD runs and seven passing scores. Oakland's opponents, meanwhile, now have 84 explosive plays combined, 18 runs (one TD) and 66 passes (seven TDs).

Midseason Report: Oakland Raiders

November, 6, 2013
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- You knew this was going to be a rebuilding year for the Oakland Raiders and, before Sunday's embarrassing 49-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland was playing above expectations. Indeed, after a 4-12 season last year, the Raiders had a chance to win their fourth game at this year's midway points.

Alas, the Eagles and Nick Foles, who threw a record-tying seven touchdowns, had different plans and it makes you wonder if these are indeed the same old Raiders who have not been to the playoffs since 2002, let alone had a winning season since that Super Bowl campaign. The difference, at least on the surface, is this team has been in every game save two -- at Denver and against the Eagles.

But the NFL is a results-oriented business and at the midway point, the Raiders sit at 3-5.

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders will use Taiwan Jones and Jacoby Ford to return kickoffs and punts again this week, against the Philadelphia Eagles, despite Ford’s recent problems against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ford, who holds the Raiders’ record for most kickoff returns for a touchdown in a season (three, in 2010) and a career (four), was moved to punt returner against the Steelers and endured the roughest outing of his four-year career.

He had a swift 20-yard punt return the first time he touched the ball, but then fumbled it out of bounds when he was tackled. Ford then badly misjudged two punts, allowing the Raiders to be pinned on their own 1-yard line before almost turning it over on a ball that nearly hit his shin.

Ford also lost a fumble on a catch in the left flat in the fourth quarter, which led to the Steelers’ first touchdown two plays later.

“Jacoby’s going to be just fine,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said when asked about Ford’s confidence this week.

“I think we all realize, listen, sometimes you go out and you don’t play a good game. We talk all the time – the sin’s not in getting knocked down. The sin’s not being able to get back up. All our guys have done a great job when they haven’t performed up to their standards. They’ve come back and they’ve responded and I expect him to do the same.”

While the Raiders have one of the most complete kick-coverage units in the NFL, their return games have been somewhat stagnant, averaging 9.2 yards per punt return, which ranks 12th in the NFL, and 21.5 yards on kickoffs, 23rd in the league.

So why the change, one that removed Phillip Adams from punt-return duties?

“We’ve got to get something going in the return game and so we’re always looking for any way that we can help to provide a spark or improve our football team in any way that we can,” Allen said.

“I think those guys give us a little bit of spark in those particular areas and we’re going to continue to look at that and hopefully that’ll be what we need to get this return game going.”
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- So what was going through Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson’s mind as his team, nursing a 21-3 halftime lead against the Pittsburgh Steelers, came out of the locker room last Sunday?

"We really wanted to gut ’em,” Olson said Thursday, meaning, the Raiders were looking at running the ball down the Steelers’ throats and racking up 300 yards on the ground. Besides, the Raiders already had 182 rushing yards at the half.

"We’d like to make a statement here with our rushing game and let’s finish them off here,” Olson recalled thinking.

Instead, the Raiders had 35 total yards, 15 on the ground, and one first down, after halftime. They survived, 21-18, thanks in part to Steelers' kicker Shaun Suisham missing field goals from 34 and 32 yards, his first misses of the season after 15 conversions.

“So it was disappointing to come out in the second half the way we did,” Olson said.

The Raiders simply could not move the ball against the Steelers after the half. Not when the offense did not get to touch the ball until there was 5:49 remaining in the third quarter after a lengthy but fruitless Pittsburgh drive to open the second half.

Not when quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who opened the game with a record 93-yard touchdown run, mistakenly kept the ball on a zone-read option play on Oakland’s first play of the second half, a one-yard loss, rather than handing off to running back Darren McFadden.

Not when Jacoby Ford misplayed a punt that had the Raiders starting their second possession of the half on their own 1-yard line.

And definitely not when Ford lost a fumble on a catch at Oakland’s 11-yard line on the Raiders’ first possession of the fourth quarter, setting up Pittsburgh’s first touchdown of the game.

"It’s unacceptable,” Olson said of the fumble.

"We didn’t execute the plays; they were there to be had."

WR Holmes added to injury report

October, 31, 2013
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders receiver Andre Holmes was added to the team's injury report with a hamstring issue Thursday, seemingly opening the door for second-year wideout Juron Criner to be active Sunday for the first time this season.

Criner, the second of two fifth-round picks in general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen's first draft class, was slowed coming out of training camp this summer with a hamstring strain. Might Criner's first action of 2012 come against the Philadelphia Eagles?

"He's worked his way back and there's a chance that Juron could be up this week, based on the way that he's been practicing and the health of that player,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said Thursday.

The 6-feet-3, 221-pound Criner played in 12 games as a rookie and caught 16 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown.

"It's frustrating but you can't let it frustrate you,” Criner said after the Raiders' bye week. "I'm a young guy, I'm a young receiver, I got time. They have other options that they're going with right now. I can't do anything but respect that. But if I let it get me down, it will only put me further under. It won't help me any.”

Besides Holmes' hamstring, rookie Brice Butler had a drop that turned into an interception last weekend and veteran Jacoby Ford had the worst game of his professional career, losing a fumble on a catch and having an adventure on punt return. Allen, though, said Ford would again return punts, with Taiwan returning kickoffs.

Following, then, is the Raiders' injury report for Thursday:

Did not participate: SS Tyvon Branch (ankle), C/G Andre Gurode (quad), RT Tony Pashos (hip).

Limited practice: WR Andre Holmes (hamstring), LT Menelik Watson (calf).
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- A disturbing trend has developed when it comes to the Oakland Raiders and their desire to nurse big leads.

On Sept. 29, the Raiders jumped on top of Washington 14-0 before giving up 24 unanswered points and losing.

On Oct. 6, the Raiders led the San Diego Chargers 17-0 at halftime and had to hold on for a 27-17 victory.

On Oct. 13, the Raiders were winning every phase of the game against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs early and would have had a 10-0 lead were it not for a missed field goal en route to a 24-7 loss.

[+] EnlargeOakland's Dennis Allen
Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY SportsDennis Allen and the Raiders are struggling after halftime.
And last weekend, the Raiders had the Pittsburgh Steelers on the ropes with a 21-3 lead in the fourth quarter but had to hold on until literally the last second to escape, 21-18.

The offense goes flat in the second half, some critics suggest by design. In fact, quarterback Terrelle Pryor said the game plan after halftime was to simply run the ball on the Steelers and grind out the clock.

A sound philosophy, except after halftime Oakland could only muster 35 yards of offense, the fewest of any team in the NFL this season, and one first down.

Also, according to Associated Press, the Raiders lead the NFL with 5.78 yards per carry in first halves of games and are seventh at 5.91 yards per offensive play. But in the second halves, they are 18th in yards per carry (3.57) and 29th in yards per offensive play (4.40).

Is it the play-calling of offensive coordinator Greg Olson as the Raiders try to take the air out of the ball to milk the clock, or a simple lack of execution on said play calls?

“Well, really, if you look at it, we’ve got to execute better,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Monday in his weekly media conference. “I mean we’ve got some opportunities to make some plays and we’re not making the plays that are there for us.”

Allen then specifically mentioned the Raiders’ first offensive series of the second half, when Pryor, perhaps buoyed by his record 93-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game, kept the ball rather than giving it to Darren McFadden on a zone-read option. Pryor was stuffed for a 1-yard loss.

One play later, Pryor again kept the ball and gained 2 yards.

“He tried to hand it off around the edge and we felt like we had a little bit of a play right there, but we had a couple of communication errors,” Allen said.

“It boiled down to when we get the opportunities to make the plays, we need to make the plays. We’ve got to throw the ball, we’ve got to catch the ball and we’ve got to create some lanes to run the ball more effectively.”

In the second half against Pittsburgh, the Raiders had four three-and-outs in their first six possessions, getting that first down on one before punting and receiver Jacoby Ford losing a fumble on the second play of another series.

With the Philadelphia Eagles coming to Oakland this weekend, the trend comes with an impending sense of dread after halftime. The Raiders need to find a sense of balance on offense in the second half ... or have more success running the ball.

“Every game is going to be different, alright?” Allen said. “You’ve got to understand how you’re going to win the game, and it’s not always about how pretty does it look. The ultimate goal is to win the football game.

“We had a defense that was playing outstanding in the football game, was taking the ball away, was creating a lot of pressure on the quarterback, that wasn’t giving up a lot of points. And the only chance (Pittsburgh) had to get back in the game was for us to make mistakes and give them those opportunities. Unfortunately, we did that.”

In the end, though, it merely served as a cautionary tale for Oakland, which has outscored opponents by a combined 59-20 in the first half with an average of 196.3 yards, while getting outscored by a cumulative 63-10 with 91.3 yards.

“So, I understand how you’re going to win football games,” Allen added. “And when the defense is playing really well, you’ve got to protect the football and you’ve got to let your defense go out and win the game for you.”

Upon Further Review: Raiders Week 8

October, 28, 2013
A review of four hot issues from the Oakland Raiders' 21-18 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers:

No staying power: For the fourth straight home game the Raiders had a quick start, only for the offense to play the second half as if stuck in neutral. Against Washington, it was a 14-0 lead before losing 24-14. Against San Diego, the Raiders led 17-0 before hanging on for a 27-17 victory. Two weeks ago, it was a 7-0 lead at Kansas City that would have been 10-0 were it not for a missed field goal. And Sunday, the Raiders led 21-3 before beating Pittsburgh 21-18. Without saying it outright, quarterback Terrelle Pryor hinted the play calling got conservative in the second half against the Steelers, and the Raiders were trying to salt away an 18-point lead. Oakland, though, lost its momentum and had but one first down and 35 yards of offense after halftime. Coach Dennis Allen admitted the Raiders need to find a killer instinct.

[+] EnlargeOakland's Darren McFadden
Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY SportsDid the Raiders get too conservative with their play calling in the second half?
FedEx for Tarver? So incensed was defensive coordinator Jason Tarver at a personal foul call on cornerback Mike Jenkins with 8:48 left in the third quarter that Tarver was caught by TV cameras giving a one-finger salute to the officials. And no, he was not telling them they were No. 1. Former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira wrote an online column saying he took it upon himself to alert the NFL about Tarver giving the refs the bird, er, business, and Tarver should expect a fine from the league. Three years ago, Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil was slapped with a $40,000 fine for flipping off the refs when he disagreed with a penalty. Oh, and the flags thrown at Jenkins were picked up, resulting in no penalty.

Ford stalls: Three years ago Jacoby Ford was a playmaking game-changer for the Raiders. Sunday, he could not get out of his own way. Ford badly misplayed two punts, allowing one to be downed at the 1-yard line, the other to nearly glance off him for a turnover. He fumbled another punt return out of bounds and lost a fumble on a short pass catch in the flat. The Steelers turned that turnover into their first touchdown. “You put the ball on the ground in a game like that, you’re giving them an opportunity to get back in the game,” Allen said. “Good teams don’t do that.”

Of explosive plays VII: And now for our weekly tracking of “explosive” plays. As deemed by Allen, such a play is one that gains at least 16 yards through the air or 12 yards on the ground. The Raiders had four such plays against Pittsburgh: two runs, including Pryor’s 93-yard scamper on the first play of the game, and two passes, while the Steelers had five explosive plays, all passes. In seven games, the Raiders have 49 explosive plays (17 runs, 32 passes), with two TD runs and four passing scores. Oakland’s opponents, meanwhile, have 46 explosive plays, nine runs and 37 passes with a touchdown each way.

Rapid Reaction: Oakland Raiders

October, 27, 2013

OAKLAND, Calif. -- A few thoughts on the Oakland Raiders' 21-18 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers:

What it means: The Raiders ended their decadelong post-bye blues against a rival as ancient as it is disliked. Before Sunday, the last time Oakland won a game immediately after a bye was in 2002, the Raiders had been outscored by a cumulative 271-139 in going 0-10 in said games. The Raiders continued their streak of luck against Pittsburgh, winning their third straight against the Steelers in Oakland. And while the Raiders’ offense got off to a quick start in building a 21-3 lead -- including Terrelle Pryor's record-setting 93-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game -- it continued its troublesome trend of going flat in the second half. The defense had to again make a late stand after getting outscored 15-0 in the second half.

Stock watch: Falling -- Jacoby Ford. Remember when he was an electric game-changer on offense and special teams as a rookie in 2010? Then came injuries and ineffectiveness. Sunday, he endured a rough one, misplaying two punts, fumbling a punt return out of bounds and losing a fumble on a reception deep in Pittsburgh territory that the Steelers would turn into their first touchdown.

Pryor's record run: The Steelers had to know Pryor was a threat to run, right? And yet, on the first offensive play of the game, Pittsburgh bit hard on Pryor's zone-read option fake handoff to Darren McFadden going left, and Pryor, helped by sealing blocks from right tackle Matt McCants and receiver Rod Streater was gone. Pryor’s 93-yard run was the longest by a quarterback in NFL history and the longest run in Raiders franchise history, eclipsing the 92-yarder running back Bo Jackson had against the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 5, 1989.

King crowns Brown: Marquette King fashions himself a football player rather than just a punter. He looked like one on his tackle of Antonio Brown in the fourth quarter that possibly saved a touchdown, popping Brown and riding him down after a 44-yard return.

What's next: The Raiders (3-4) host the Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) for the first time since a 13-9 victory in 2009. Oakland has won three of the past four meetings with Philadelphia, coming out on top in 1995, 2001 and 2009 while falling in 2005.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Taiwan Jones, drafted to be a speedy change-of-pace back for Darren McFadden in 2011 before being converted to cornerback this offseason, has found a home on special teams.

And he’s made being a gunner on the Raiders’ punt-coverage teams somewhat fashionable.

“I think Taiwan Jones, if he’s not the best special-teams player in the league, he’s one of the best in the league,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “He’s a difference-maker in all of our coverage units.

“The type of speed that he’s got, his willingness to go down and create contact and make tackles ... those are the things that you have to have and I think he’s done an outstanding job.”

Besides disrupting punt returners, often while being double-teamed, Jones has also flashed his world-class speed. On a trick play against Washington, he took the direct snap from Jon Condo after the Raiders shifted into a formation out of a punt with Jacoby Ford just off center. Jones then sped off for a 19-yard gain and a first down.

And, yes, while there was satisfaction in bursting down the left sideline on that play, his main job description is to blow up punt returns. And the way he’s been playing the position of late -- he has five tackles on the season, including two at Kansas City last weekend -- he is getting satisfaction out of it.

“I have a lot of pleasure,” he said. “I’m having fun out there. Being a gunner, it’s one of those positions where it’s not too much scheming; it’s just man on man, mano y mano out there, and whoever has the most effort out there is going to win. That’s one thing I enjoy.”

Sunday, he limited Dexter McCluster to a 1-yard punt return off a Marquette King 50-yard punt in the third quarter before stopping McCluster for a 7-yard gain on a 51-yard King punt in the fourth.

“You’ve got to watch film,” Jones said. “You’ve got to learn other team’s tendencies, key into some of the clues they give you and use them to your advantage.”

Jones said his goal is to make the Pro Bowl as a special-teamer.

“I’m shooting to be the best at what I’m doing right now,” he said.

Allen obviously believes Jones will come through on that promise.

“It means a lot because when you’re putting it out on the field every day,” Jones said, “it’s good to see your head coach notice that.”

Jones is making it easy for Allen, and opponents, to notice.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Looking for a silver lining in the Raiders’ come-from-ahead 24-14 loss to Washington on Sunday?

Go to the 9:10 mark of the second quarter, when Oakland faced a fourth-and-1 at its own 28-yard line and was lined up to punt.

The result was described by Raiders coach Dennis Allen as “stealing a possession” against Washington.

Jacoby Ford went into motion and settled on the line of scrimmage before the snap and went directly to the speedy Taiwan Jones, who took off down the left side of the field for a 19-yard pick up and a first down.

Jones said the play had been installed two weeks prior.

“I was actually surprised we ran it,” Jones said Monday.

“We had it called right away, so it was already planned and we were just able to execute it.”

Jones, whose speed has never been in question, changed positions this season from running back to cornerback (no, Allen did not anticipate moving him back with Darren McFadden's hamstring now in question) but has stuck to the Raiders’ roster with his special teams play. Especially as a gunner.

But Sunday, he also showed himself to be a different kind of weapon.

“When your number’s called, I would hope your radar would go up,” Jones said. “It was just one of those things where (Allen) felt like we were in good position to make the call and he called it. My number was up and I had a good block up front so we were able to execute it.”

The storybook ending would be that Oakland, clinging to a 14-10 lead, finished the “stolen” possession with a score, right? Instead, the Raiders ran three more plays, picked up 8 yards and punted ... on fourth-and-2.
The Oakland Raiders are seemingly in a never-ending quest for a wide receiver to develop.

The Raiders have swung on and missed with the likes of Darrius Heyward-Bey, Louis Murphy and Chaz Schilens in recent years.

There is a new group of young, unproven receivers in Oakland. All have talent, but none are sure things. The Raiders are totally open at the spot and are hoping some of these players develop. Oakland may have trouble keeping six at the position because of the possibility the team will keep extra players at quarterback and at tight end. Below is a look at what Oakland’s receiving corps may look like as we approach the 53-man cut Saturday:

Rod Streater: He has been quiet in the preseason and is now dealing with a possible concussion. He may have the most upside on roster.

Denarius Moore: Oakland wants to see this third-year talent become more consistent and more mature on the field. He has big potential.

Jacoby Ford: The Raiders made a commitment to Ford by cutting Josh Cribbs, as they're both similar players. The key for the explosive Ford is his health, which has been a problem.

Juron Criner: A camp star last year who has been injured and fairly quiet. Still, I’d be surprised if he isn’t kept.

Brice Butler: Seventh-round pick has been impressive. He has all the tools, but can he make an instant impact?

Andre Holmes: He has been impressive and has good size. Holmes is facing a four-game suspension to start season, but I could see him in Oakland’s long-term plans.

Greg Jenkins: He has some ability, but he may be caught in numbers game.

Conner Vernon: An undrafted pick who was an early favorite to stick, but he might be practice-squad material.
It appears John Idzik was correct.

The Oakland Raiders are in the process of cuttting receiver/returner Josh Cribbs on Sunday, according to several media reports.

Oakland was hoping Cribbs, who was signed in the offseason, could give a spark to the offense and to the return game. But in Oakland, he never got back to his glory days like he was in Cleveland. Cribbs had offseason knee surgery and it slowed him down. Idzik, the New York Jets’ general manager, said the Jets passed on Cribbs because he doubted Cribbs would be ready to be effective by the start of the regular season.

It was going to be difficult for Oakland to keep both Cribbs and Jacoby Ford, as they're similar players. Now that Ford appears healthy for the first time in almost two years, keeping him over Cribbs makes sense. Also, Ford is younger and he is a better player at this point.

Comcast Bay Area reports these other cuts: Keenan Clayton, Eric Harper, Sam McGuffie, Cory Nelms, Tray Session, Andrew Robiskie and Myles Wade.

Also, as expected, several outlets, reported quarterback Terrelle Pryor worked some with the first team Sunday as did rookie Menelik Watson at left tackle. Oakland coach Dennis Allen indicated both were possible. As we discussed Saturday, making Pryor the starter over Matt Flynn is the right thing to do and probably just a matter of time. Allen indicated he will name a starter some time before the season opens Sept. 8.