The time has come to start trimming down the Oakland Raiders roster.
Oakland head coach Hue Jackson is trying to turn this team into a "bully" or classic Raider team. There are a few noteworthy names that don't look like they fit the bill so far this preseason, so it should be their time to go.
Some of them are obvious, while others are not so obvious.
Turn the page to see who they are.
He has the speed! (He runs a 4.3 40.)
He has the bloodlines! (Brother Bryant McFadden plays for the Steelers.)
What he doesn't have is the ability to bump, run and keep his man from catching the ball. Everyone can't play in constant man, bump and run coverage, so McFadden should be let go to catch on with a zone team.
He might be able to play with his brother in Pittsburgh.
Rookie DeMarcus Van Dyke looks very promising and is learning fast, so he'll take the roster spot.
This one is just as obvious as the first one.
Jeremy Ware has been easy pickings for opposing quarterbacks since becoming a Raider in 2010. So far into the 2011 preseason, nothing has changed with Ware, so it's probably time to go.
I know you usually give players more than year and a preseason, but the Raiders usually carry five corners. Chris Johnson and Stanford Routt are the starters, so that's two spots taken.
Van Dyke, a third-round pick, is improving rapidly, and fourth-round pick Chimdi Chekwa looks okay after finally getting healthy. Two-time Pro Bowler Lito Sheppard was just added to the roster to fill up all the corner slots.
Let's not forget that Michael Huff has intentions of playing nickel corner this year too.
This is another one for the obvious category.
It's not because Miller is playing so badly these days; it's because there are others at his position playing so well.
Jacoby Ford, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Louis Murphy and Chaz Schilens are the incumbents from last year.
Derek Hagan is a big-bodied receiver that has made plays this preseason, and he's the veteran of the group. Denarius Moore, the Raiders' fifth-round pick, has looked like the steal of the 2011 draft at receiver.
But Miller is a punt returner that did well last year until he was slowed down by a high ankle sprain.
It looks like Moore is taking that from him too.
Hagan sealed his fate last night.
Now, Bennett still looks like he's okay, but he's a little older these days.
What happens when an young burner starts to get older?
They replace him with a young burner.
Finally healthy, fourth-round pick Taiwan Jones is that burner.
Did you see that burner work last night?
Jerome Boyd is like a bigger, harder-hitting Tyvon Branch.
Boyd can't cover, and he's constantly beaten for big plays in the passing game, just like Branch. But the thing about Branch is he has sub-4.4 40 speed that leads the Raiders staff, namely Al Davis, to believe he can learn to cover.
Boyd looks to me like he's just a Mike Mitchell recovery from injury away from being cut. Mitchell is the hardest hitter in the Raider secondary and did a good job in coverage last year.
If not for his injury, he should be starting.
Branch is just a Davis speed scholarship player to me.
I haven't seen him do anything in preseason games so far.
I haven't heard about anything special he's done in training camp either.
So why should the Raiders keep sixth-round pick Richard Gordon?
Starter Kevin Boss' knee sprain won't have him out much longer, and then you have Brandon Myers starting while Boss is hurt. Newly converted tight end David Ausberry did drop a pass last week but made a big play for a touchdown the week before.
You can forget about Ausberry getting cut anyway because the former receiver has 4.4 40 speed.
That's three tight ends, and Gordon is left out.
By no means will the Raiders be done cutting after these guys are gone, as the Raiders need to go from 86 to 80 by tomorrow. I just named these six players because they are the most noteworthy and need to go.
The players I named have either underperformed or have other players playing very well at their position. The Raiders will likely get rid of some guys we've never heard of first, but these names will have to go at some point.
Then again, there are always injuries.