Morry Gash/Associated Press
Carrie and Thorpe Battle for Third Cornerback Spot
Although the Raiders' secondary has continued to struggle in pass coverage throughout the preseason, Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown will be the starters until at least Week 6 of the regular season. But the depth chart behind them remains an unsettled matter.
The top contenders for the third cornerback spot are T.J. Carrie and Neiko Thorpe, both of which have shown flashes of potential but have also been inconsistent. Thorpe has an edge in NFL experience, but Carrie has performed well enough to earn a serious look from the coaches.
Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver has been impressed with both (via NBC Bay Area):
There’ve been some players that step up like T.J. Carrie and Neiko, and that battle will still be going on this week… I’m excited to see these guys play, because they both did some good things last week and they’ve both done good things throughout camp.
Both will see extended playing time against Seattle, and their performances on Thursday will determine the winner of the competition.
Is Carr Playing For the Starting Job?
Head coach Dennis Allen has remained steadfast in his support of Schaub despite his poor play. He also claims to remain confident in Schaub's abilities as a starting quarterback. At this point, he's likely one of the last to believe that.
Not only has Schaub's play been unconvincing, NFL.com's Dan Hanzus reports he's now also dealing with a sore elbow.
Inside Bay Area's Jerry McDonald notes Schaub will sit out Thursday's game, and Derek Carr will see extended playing time against Seattle. Oakland insists this is only to get Carr more reps, but a standout performance from him will force Allen to make a critical decision regarding the starting quarterback position.
If the Carr-led offense performs significantly better than it has under Schaub so far, the Raiders will have to seriously consider making a switch at the position.
Can Butler Make a His Way Up the Depth Chart?
The Raiders' wide receiver depth chart is riddled with talent, but it has mostly exhibited inconsistency this preseason. Rod Streater and James Jones are locks to begin the season as the starters, and there's still hope Denarius Moore, Andre Holmes and Greg Little can tap into their immense potential and become consistent difference-makers.
But so far, the only reserve at the position to make a major impression has been Brice Butler. He's been on the field late in games, which means he's been up against reserves and players hoping to survive roster cuts, but he's still been Oakland's best receiver. Moore, Holmes and Little have struggled getting open and holding on to the ball. Butler has not.
While the players ahead of him have the ideal measurables for a wide receiver, Butler has proven he can provide something they haven't: results. If he has another game against Seattle like the ones he's had so far, he'll certainly be higher than sixth on the depth chart once the regular season begins.