Raiders keep FB position open for tryouts

The Oakland Raiders came into this year’s training camp with four fullbacks on the roster: Marcel Reece, Luke Lawton, and rookies Monase Tonga, and Chane Moline. But injuries have hampered the Raiders at what some might consider an already thin position for the team. At some point in time this camp, all four of these guys have missed a practice or two with an annoying injury. In fact, Luke Lawton has yet to make his return to the practice field.

So Hue Jackson and Tom Cable have gotten creative with the position in practices. For the past few practices, Alex Daniels has been lining up at fullback regularly, in addition to his normal defensive end position on the third team defense. Third string tight end Brandon Myers has also been working at the fullback position.

Showing this kind of versatility will go a long way towards helping these two guys make the Oakland Raiders roster. Myers, of course, made the team last year, but at this point in his career cannot be considered a shoe-in. Alex Daniels, on the other hand has some major depth in front of him on the roster and must really put forth a strong camp to avoid being put on the practice squad. So the fact that he is showing that he can be more than a one-trick pony for the team speaks volumes for him in the eyes of the coaches.

Yet yesterday, the fullback position got even more interesting when another rookie defensive end got a look in the position. Lamarr Houston, who has actually come right out of the gate as a starting defensive end got into the fullback mix during the team’s goal line offense practice. It was an idea first suggest by Jerry McDonald after Alex Daniels lined up there a few days ago.

McDonald says, “Houston was a prolific high school running back in Colorado Springs, Colorado, before switching to defense at Texas. Listed at 6-foot-3, 305 pounds, he may be more compact than a refrigerator, but he’s at least a dishwasher.”

And the funny thing is that this could extend beyond just the practice field for the team, “We might do some of that around the goal line in short yardage situations, things like that,” Tom Cable said. “We did some of that in minicamp, OTA, right from the get-go with him. He’s had some history there.”

So apparently, McDonald now has some pull with the management of the roster. He was a strong advocate of the Raiders drafting Rolando McClain, which they did, and now he has Tom Cable making personnel moves. I know this season hasn’t been the typical drama-filled Raiders style, but moves like this one sure keep it interesting.

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Other notes:

  • Tom Cable says Louis Murphy “hasn’t even scratched the surface” of how good he could be yet
  • RB Rock Cartwright says Jason Campbell has been more vocal in Oakland than he was in Washington
  • Chaz Schilens is back to full-go after suffering a set back with his ankle. Apparently the scare in yesterday’s practice was “Just a stinger. I’m fine.”
  • Hue Jackson’s former team, the Baltimore Ravens, are considered the odd ball of the league in that they practice so much tackling during their team practice sessions. The Raiders aren’t looking to tackle quite as much, but believe it can be important to practice tackling and will continue to practice tackling intermittently during camp.

Also see:

Cable sets his sight on offensive line

Great interview with Jason Campbell

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