Oakland Raider Position Battles to Watch For Thursday: The Results
There were a few pretty close position battles with the Oakland Raiders going into the final preseason game against the Seahawks. In the last article, I told you the position battles to look for.
Today we have the results.
Some positions appeared to have been snatched by players that performed well Thursday. There were also positions were given back due to bad performances Thursday.
Turn the page to take a look at them.
Winner Bruce Gradkowski
Bruce Gradkowski of course had the big advantage of last year on his side. Despite that, the competition for the back-up quarterback job was much closer than people think.
Gradkowski was out with a groin injury while Kyle Boller played very well and looked like he was the back-up at one point. Gradkowski came back from his many injuries to win the job at the twenty fourth hour.
Gradkowski was 7-14 for 128 yards with 2 touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 121.4 on Thursday.
Winner Kyle Boller
I cannot fix my fingers to type Kyle Boller in as a loser.
He threw for 157 yards including the a 16-yard touchdown to Nick Miller that was probably the best throw of the Raider preseason. Boller's quarterback rating was 122.9 for Thursday night's game in Oakland.
He even had a 62 yard completion to rookie Jacoby Ford.
He also had a sure touchdown passed dropped by Brandon Myers. There's no way in the world that we can call Boller a loser with numbers like that.
He did manage to take Charlie Frye's number three spot.
The Raiders should now feel like not all is lost should starter Jason Campbell go down. Gradkowski gets injured a lot himself and if it happens again, plan C isn't so bad.
The Raiders are no doubt happy to have Boller.
Winner Stanford Routt
Stanford Routt had to be the favorite going in because he didn't play Thursday night. He was a shut-down corner this preseason and the Raiders definitely want to keep him healthy.
You finally get it.
Loser Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson had such a great camp.
It all started with a hamstring pull that caused him to miss the 49er game. Routt then stepped in and did nothing but shine in his place.
Then it came down to Thursday and Johnson was served.
First, he was served a steady diet of Seahawk receivers Golden Tate, Ben Obomanu and Deon Butler. Some time after, he had to have been served with the news that he won't be a starting corner.
I don't think Johnson is 100 percent yet.
Winner Mike Mitchell
Mike Mitchell got one more opportunity to show that he should be the Raider's starting free safety
He made a very strong case with Huff on the sideline.
He was adequate in coverage as the big plays against the Raiders came when he wasn't in the game.
In the run game, Mitchell came up a met running backs in the hole when there was one. When he met them, they didn't break lose from his tackles.
Did you see the hit he put on Justin Forsett on an attempted pass?
What about the drop Forsett had out of fear a few plays later?
That's what the Raiders need!
Loser Michael Huff
This one is kind of interesting.
Huff didn't play Thursday while Mike Mitchell blew people up.
Huff appeared to be too scared to tackle in two preseason games in a row. The result of two of his non-plays was 130 rushing yards on two running plays.
The Raider defense is actually great without Huff.
If the Raiders want to get something out of this first round pick, they should move him to corner. Even that train may have pulled out of the station with the emergence of Routt.
I don't know how much value he would have in a trade.
Since when did the Raiders want safeties that didn't want to hit?
Winner Jared Veldheer
Jared Veldheer has been solid at center all camp long.
He got his first start at the position against the 49ers and proved himself to be a much better option than Samson Satele and sat on Thursday as the favorite.
Satele did nothing to win the spot on Thursday.
Loser Samson Satele
Satele got one more chance to prove that he was good enough to be a starting center in the NFL.
So what did he prove?
Satele proved that he's not good enough to be a back-up center in the NFL. He was even blown back by Seattle's back-up defensive lineman.
Veldheer better not get hurt.
Stalemate Bruce Campbell
Campbell looked like he forgot how to play football at times on Thursday. He played a little too high on some plays and was either blown back or thrown to the side.
He was having a good preseason up to that point.
He started to get it going in the second half of the game but then he had the penalties. Head Coach Tom Cable loves Cooper Carlisle so Campbell needed to go in there and kill it Thursday and he didn't.
Look for Carlisle to start until further notice.
Stalemate Cooper Carlisle
Carlisle all but tried to give his starting right guard position away. He has given up sacks and looked as if he were on skates when trying to block in the run game.
He still has one thing going for him.
It doesn't look like anyone wants his position.
Winner Louis Murphy
Louis Murphy didn't see the field on Thursday so he had to be the favorite going in. He made the biggest play of the Raider preseason with a 74-yard touchdown catch with the ones in.
The fact that Chaz Schilens is hurt will probably make Murphy the number one receiver starting the season.
Winner Darrius Heyward-Bey
There were no losers in this battle either.
Darrius Heyward-Bey will be the number two receiver due to the injury of Schilens. His jumping, twisting, toe-tapping grab along the sidelines showed that Heyward-Bey has indeed improved his game.
The play also showed that he had game speed to go along with his timed speed. He blew past the Seahawk corner as if he was just standing there.
It will be interesting to see what happens when Schilens gets back.
I hope you enjoyed the slide show.