Now that preseason is over and done with; let the guessing game begin!
That, of course, would be the final 53-man roster general manager Reggie McKenzie and his staff must get to Saturday. There’s already plenty of postulation and in-fighting amongst the most die-hard in Raider Nation of who should and shouldn’t land a coveted roster spot.
There’s going to be plenty of hoorahs and table-pounding at Raiders HQ in Alameda.
“What we want to do is end up picking the right 53 for us and understand what’s out there with the league and opportunities that become available,” Del Rio said. “I think you’re always open-minded. But you do your best to get yourself a 53 that is going to be ready to go through the regular season the way we need to.”
To the Quick Slants we go:
- LaTroy Lewis has to make the final 53. Three sacks, four tackles for loss, a pick-six and a fumble recovery. For a team starved of pass rush, no way can the Raiders stash him on the practice squad — even if those big plays came against fellow longshots.
- Shalom Luani was a draft favorite by a lot of folk. His interception on Thursday night only cements the rookie out of Washington State has high football IQ.
- John Crockett and George Atkinson III are going to be looking for new teams Saturday. Butterfingers has no business being a part of the Raiders backfield.
- “Papa” Giorgio Tavecchio yo-yo’s on the Raiders roster every offseason. He’ll probably do so next offseason. Sebastian Janikowski’s job is safe.
- EJ Manuel looks to have won the backup quarterback job.
- Derek Carr must stay healthy for all 16 weeks and beyond. It’s a Grand Canyon-esque drop-off from DC to Manuel and Connor Cook.
- Breon Borders made his case for a roster spot with a nice interception. I think he lands on the taxi squad.
- Marquette King needs to get the Seabass preseason treatment. Bring in another punt to handle the duties.
- Shilique Calhoun got a sack! But his roster status is a legitimate question.
- Elijah Hood didn’t get a carry. Agree wholeheartedly with my man Scott Winter. Raiders didn’t play him so they can stash him on the taxi squad.
- Johnny Holton left two blockers in the dust on punt coverage to help force a fair catch. He’s going to be the new special teams ace, no question.
Quote(s) of Note:
“My deal wasn’t to prove everybody else wrong, it was to prove Reggie McKenzie right. For me, that was my motivation before every game and every practice, was just to prove him right.”
— Undrafted free agent LaTroy Lewis
“He’s very instinctive. He’s really has a nose for the football. He has developed special teams-wise with some of the things we’re asking him to do. He’s developed in learning our system. I think he’s been a real positive addition for us in the back end.”
— Jack Del Rio on rookie safety Shalom Luani
“I think EJ’s been ahead most of the summer and I thought he played better tonight. I think both of the young men have worked hard for us. It’s been a good group, a very positive room. I think there’ good chemistry in how they challenge each other and work well. But I’d say EJ’s ahead.”
— Jack Del Rio on the backup quarterback competition