Oakland Raiders look for a tight end to 'step up'
By Jerry McDonald
Posted: 07/30/2013 06:22:04 PM PDT
Updated: 07/31/2013 09:27:01 AM PDT
If Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie could sit at a computer and construct a tight end from the players he has in camp, replacing the 79 receptions from the departed Brandon Myers wouldn't be an issue.
Instead, the Raiders are watching the position group closely, hoping someone leaps to the forefront the way Myers did a year ago.
It would be easy to imagine Oakland going with a platoon system involving some combination of veterans David Ausberry and Richard Gordon, as well as rookies Nick Kasa and Mychal Rivera.
Coach Dennis Allen has other ideas. "We're looking for someone to step up," Allen said. "We want someone to say, 'I'm the man, and this is my job.' We're
going to let the competition dictate that and give everyone an opportunity."
Myers, who signed with the New York Giants as an unrestricted free agent, won a competition against Ausberry and Gordon last season and ended up being on the field for more than 90 percent of the snaps.
Through five days of practice, Ausberry, a converted wide receiver who has grown into a 6-foot-4, 261-pound tight end, probably rates an edge, albeit a slim one.
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SI's Peter King considers Raiders TE David Ausberry the "most impressive unknown player" he saw during the first week of his training camp tour.
Ausberry is competing with rookies Nick Kasa and Mychal Rivera to replace Brandon Myers, but is considered the favorite. Ausberry is No. 31 in Rotoworld's tight end ranks, though he has more upside than that ranking suggests. New QB Matt Flynn figures to rival 2012 Carson Palmer as a checkdown machine, and Oakland has a clear shortage of viable pass-catching options. Jul 29 - 9:49 AM
Source: Sports Illustrated