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Raiders Sign veteran SS

Jeff LittleSenior Writer IJuly 22, 2008

The Raiders signed eight year veteran strong safety Greg Wesley to a one year contract. The former Kansas City Chief was a 3rd pick in 2000 and started for the Chiefs for several years, he was replaced by Benard Pollard in 2007. Heading into his ninth year has played both strong and free safety.



He played solid in a back up role,and in key situations or critical downs he would replace one of the starters. He was bumped 0ut of his back up role with the arrival of DaJuan Morgan the third round pick from North Carolina State.



Some may question why the Raiders would sign another safety at this point seeing as the starters are set FS Michael Huff and SS Gibril Wilson.



The team has added depth in signing Wesley, and he is a low risk/high reward free agent pick up. He is being brought into camp to compete at the position and show what he can do.



He realizes that he isn't being counted on as a starter, but being a veteran player he can help out in multiple receiver sets. He can help mentor younger players such as Tyvon Branch at the position.He can instruct him on what to look for and assist the team if someone goes down as well as help on special teams if needed.



The safety position has become a very physical position. It isn't safe being a safety; they're asked to play closer to the line of scrimmage like a linebacker to help shut down the opponents run game.There is a good chance that a safety will have to match up with a bigger fullback or much bigger lineman. I can recall eight safeties going down with injuries in 2005.That was the same year that the Raiders lost SS Derrick Gibson to a broken wrist and CB Charles Woodson, who was playing a lot more safety in the Raiders' big nickel scheme at the time, to a broken fibula.



In today's game you might need to carry more than four safeties in the event of injury and that could be the reason Greg Wesley will be in training camp attempting to join the silver and black. If he can continue to make plays and make the team, it will help the team in more ways than one.

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