Oakland Raider Training Camp Focus: Full Backs and Tight Ends
Both the tight end and fullback positions are interesting to watch in camp.
The tight end postition looks to be locked down with pecking order and all. The interest there is how well they are all playing.
The fullback position does not appear to be so settled. The big interest there is all about which one of these men will emerge as the starter.
Turn the page to check the progress of these two positions.
We start with this thing off with the fullbacks
Rock Cartright is the best runner and pass receiver of the the fullbacks. He's been able to sneak outside on some running plays. We already know about his pass catching from his Redskin days so no surprizes there.
The surprise is he's more physical than you think. Rookie linebacker Rolando McClain made the mistake of underestimatimg him while taking on his block.
He knows now!
You'll never mistaken Cartright for Lorenzo Neal but he will get after you. I believe he is a lock because he can be an emergency tailback as well.
Manase Tonga has been the standout pass blocker of the fullbacks so far. Blocking wasn't his primary attribute in his BYU days.
Tonga's was known at BYU for being a standout runner and receiver. I've actually been surprized with his blocking to this point.
He's not to bad of a runblocker either.
Should he raise his runblocking level, Tonga could be in the mix. Luke Lawton will be out for the first six weeks of the season.
This icreases his chances to make the team.
Luke Lawton is the incumbent starter for the Raiders at fullback. He has come down with some headaches so he was recently put on concussion watch.
There's really no need to worry about his camp reps. Lawton will be out for the first six weeks due to a failed POD test.
He wasn't a bull last year so I guess the PODs didn't work very well. I will just wait to see how he is when he comes back.
Sean Merriman hasn't been the same since beiing caught with his "tainted supplements."
Chane Moline is one of those H-back fullback types. He blocked well, ran the ball in short yardage, and caught the ball at UCLA.
To look at him is to think that he is strictly a smash-mouth type of guy. However, he has shown much more than that in camp.
Moline has shown good hands and surprising wheels. Both attributes were on full display on a play that he beat rookie linebacker Rolando McClain deep.
This Moline kid looks interesting.
Now we turn our attention to the tightends. This looks to be an oustanding group so I don't see anyone coming in and stealing a spot here.
Tony Stewart is the Raiders blocking tight end and makes an occasional play in the passing game.
So far in camp, Stewart has shown himself to still be that with an improvement to his receiving skills.
This will make it hard for another tight end to break into this group.
Brandon Myers is a starting tight end in a lot of places. But Zach MIller is the man in Raider Nation.
Myers makes play after play when given the chance so far in camp. It makes me wonder how many single back, double tight sets we'll see this coning year.
That ultimately figures into how many fullbacks will be kept.
What can I say about Zach Miller?
He's actually one of the best in the league.
Miller had 66 catches for 805 yards last year. This is quite a feet if you take into account what he had at quarterback at the time.
So far in camp, he has developed quite a connection with quarterback Jason Campbell. They have even connected on passes when Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson told the defense who Campbell would throw to.
This year, Campbell is going to send Zach Miller to his first Pro Bowl.
John Owens is lurking in the background but I don't see anyone breaking into the Raider's tight end rotation.
I hope you enjoyed the slide show!