It's not easy being a wide receiver in Oakland. You'll have to go all the way back to 2002 to find a receiver that caught over 80 passes, the last time a receiver caught 10 touchdown passes was in 2000.
This may be hard to believe considering the Raiders love for the deep ball, then again the Raiders haven't given any quarterback a decent offensive line to work with.
Pro bowl players like Javon Walker and Randy Moss were so terrible in Oakland that you have to wonder if the movie Super Bad got its title from their play.
There is no Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, Moss, or even a Jerry Porter in Oakland in 2010. The Raiders are depending on youth to revive their passing game.
The top three receivers on the Oakland depth chart are 24 years old or younger, but these aren't just your average guys in their early 20's.
Chaz Schilens is entering his fourth year in the league and has the ability to become a solid threat. He is tall, fast and has great hands. He should provide Jason Campbell with a reliable option on third down.
Louis Murphy showed why he was one of the biggest steals in the draft last year. He made big plays and was clutch towards the end of games. He never gave up on plays, and delivered big blocks. He brought a championship swagger that he picked up in Florida to the Raiders.
Darrius Heyward-Bey is perhaps the player everyone should keep their eyes on. He has shown everyone that he is dedicated to get better. He spent the majority of the offseason in California working on his catching technique and taking care of his body.
Many members of the media and players have come out and commended Heyward-Bey on his improvement.
Last year the Raiders had JaMarcus Russell throwing passes to the receivers and had terrible offensive line play. That attributed to the Raiders poor receiving numbers.
Campbell will be an upgrade over Russell, and the offensive line should be much better if not at least deeper than last years unit.
These young guys are hungry and are eager to prove their critics wrong. The Raiders also have Johnnie Lee Higgins and Jacoby Ford who should make pretty good fourth and fifth receivers and contribute on special teams.
This years wide receiver group should be the strongest the Raiders have had since their Brown, Rice, and Porter days. The Raiders don't need three guys to catch 80 passes or more because they should have a strong running game. Zach Miller will also take a lot of pressure and attention away from the receivers.
What the Raiders need from them is a consistent effort and the occasional big play. These receivers are capable of providing that and more.
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