Sam Williams, Aso, Lamont, And More...

Angry Pope

All Raider
Feb 2, 2006
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Information on our team....


By Steve Corkran
Contra Costa Times

PERSONNEL ANALYSIS: RB LaMont Jordan at first was upset about a turf toe injury that forced him to miss the final two games of last season. He soon found a way to turn it into a positive, vowing to start his offseason workout program earlier than at any point in his NFL career. To that end, Jordan is back at full strength and primed for an even better season than 2005, when he rushed for 1,025 yards and caught 70 passes. There many other reasons to expect more production from him, too. For one, new coach Art Shell has retooled an offensive line that struggled with its consistency last season, and he is a firm believer in featuring a lead back in his game plan. Secondly, Shell has made it a point of fingering a play or plays that Jordan feels most comfortable with as something that will be a staple of the game plan each week. That wasn't the case with Jordan under former coach Norv Turner. Jordan never knew what to expect from game to game and didn't have a go-to play he could run in crucial situations.

SCOUTING REPORT: The Raiders traded up so that they could draft LB Sam Williams in 2003. They're still waiting for the payoff from a player who missed most or all of his first three NFL seasons with serious injuries. The Raiders feel this is the season Williams avoids the injury bug and realizes his potential. It couldn't come at a better time, with the Raiders looking for someone to complement Kirk Morrison on the outside. Williams is viewed as the leading candidate, given his experience and the team's sizable investment so far. However, Williams is far from assured a starting spot. The Raiders drafted Thomas Howard and Darnell Bing, two players expected to compete for playing time on the outside. Williams is tall, fast and versatile, though he needs work improving his pass coverage and open-field tackling. Look for him to win the starting job and make Oakland's defense better overall.

NEWCOMER IMPACT: The Raiders certainly don't expect veteran CBs Duane Starks and Tyrone Poole to perform at the high level they did during their primes. However, they are viewed as valuable assets to a team that features four young cornerbacks and an inexperienced secondary overall. Starks and Poole are smart players who have played for Super Bowl teams and know what it takes for young players to improve enough to play at a championship-caliber level. Sure, they'll be asked to contribute as extra defensive backs, for the most part, but they also figure to have an immense impact in the continued development of youngsters such as Nnamdi Asomugha, Fabian Washington, Stanford Routt, Chris Carr, Stuart Schweigert and Michael Huff, the team's first-round draft pick in April.

CORNERBACKS ANALYSIS: C-plus. Nnamdi Asomugha and Fabian Washington aren't anywhere near as good as they're going to be once they gain more experience. Stanford Routt, Chris Carr and Duane Starks are solid backups.
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