Raiders Making Moves Before Draft

Photo courtesy of the Oakland Raiders.

Photo courtesy of the Oakland Raiders.

Coming off probably the worst season of his career, Matt Schaub will get another opportunity to prove his worth with the Oakland Raiders. After a complicated season of using three quarterbacks, the Raiders believe they’ve found the answer to their offensive woes.

The Raiders $59.9 million in cap space allowed them to make some moves during free agency. They began beefing up their defense and then added the biggest piece to their puzzle, a new quarterback. Last season, Terrelle Pryor was given the nod to start but shared the spotlight with both back-up Matt McGloin and Matt Flynn.

“We brought in Matt Schaub to be our starting quarterback,” said head coach Dennis Allen. “We feel very confident that he is going to be able to come in and function in that role and be outstanding for us.”

After signing Schaub, General Manager Reggie McKenzie said Pryor asked to be released or traded. Pryor is a promising young quarterback who never got the opportunity to really showcase his talent. He was former owner Al Davis’ last pick before his death but many believed he did not fit into Allen’s vision. Pryor was

“We’ll never be done,” Allen said in a conference call last week. “It’s hard to pinpoint what’s going to happen between now and the draft or really even after the draft. But we’re going to continue to look for ways we can improve this football team offensively, defensively, and in the kicking game.”

So far, the defensive side has received the most uplifting. Oakland signed Defensive End Justin Tuck, Linebacker Lamarr Woodley, Defensive Lineman Antonio Smith and Cornerback Tarell Brown. These are key pieces in building a more powerful defense. Woodley talked about how the new additions can make a difference from the 4-12 team we’ve seen for the last two years.

“Use me as a defensive end,” said Woodley. “A few pieces can make a change. We come in having known what it’s like to win and we know how to get there. Our leadership will impact the locker room on and off the field, we know how to get to that next level.”

The next level is something the Raiders fans haven’t seen since the John Gruden years. Every year they anxiously await a playoff caliber team. Allen said, “the team is not done making moves and will continue to try to improve in all areas,” and McKenzie is making sure that happens.

“What we’re trying to do is add some veteran leadership,” McKenzie said at Pro Day last week. “We want to upgrade the team through production and leadership, it’s a good mix with our young guys.”

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