Camp day 19: Zach Miller fireworks, roster shuffle

The Oakland Raiders completed their 19th day of training camp with a single afternoon no-pads practice. Zach Miller put on a clinic, and they added a new face in tight end Eric Butler whilst quarterback Charlie Frye was added to the injured reserve.

Dancing the Roster Shuffle

Charlie Frye was placed on the injured reserve after he underwent wrist surgery yesterday. It is expected to be a four to five month rehab process. In a move that shows the Raiders do want to see what Colt Brennan can do, they did not add another quarterback to the mix. Instead, they added tight end Eric Butler.

Butler originally signed with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2008. After he didn’t make the final 53 with the Giants, the Indianapolis Colts signed him to their practice squad for the bulk of the season. He spent the 2009 season on and off the St Louis Rams’ practice squad. At Mississippi State the 6’2″ 265 lb Butler had 50 catches in 45 games. He was name to the SEC All-Freshman team in 2004.

The acquisition of a tight end likely means that they are unsure of the prognosis on Tony Stewart’s recovery period. Stewart and John Owens are locked in competition for the third tight end slot behind Zach Miller and Brandon Myers

The Zach Miller show:

Zach Miller continued his tremendous camp by lighting practice up with several catches. On one of them Rolando McClain actually got a hand on the pass and Miller still managed to come down with the grab. Miller also beat Joey Thomas over the middle for a catch.

In his three years in the league, the former Arizona State tight end has quietly become one of the top tight ends in the game. Unlike the so-called “new generation” tight ends like Antonio Gates in San Diego, Miller is near the top of the league as both an in-line blocker and as a receiver. He hasn’t had the gaudy numbers of a Gates-type receiver, but Miller is more complete in the tradition of throwback tight ends.

It is easy to overlook Miller as his consistency does not make the headlines. For him, it is when he has rare down practice that it gets noticed, simply because it is purely out of character for him.

Further Notes:

  • After having issues with receiving, defensive end turned fullback Alex Daniels caught a pass in the end zone from Colt Brennan to close practice. Head coach Tom Cable has already said that he expects Daniels to play in Chicago when the Raiders face the Bears.
  • The tea leaves say that Colt Brennan will likely get some field time on Saturday against da Bears. With Frye on the shelf for the season and Gradkowski getting limited practice reps during the week, Brennan should be the third quarterback again. Colt has now had some time to study the playbook, and it would not make sense to again only use two qarterbacks.
  • Darren McFadden has been hampered with a hamstring injury. He had his most intense side work since his injury.
  • Darrius Heyward-Bey has missed a week of practice with an undisclosed injury.

 

About Patrick A. Patterson, Senior Writer

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