Oakland Raiders: Notes And Observations From The Preseason

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Sep 3, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) catches a touchdown pass over Oakland Raiders cornerback Keith McGill (39) during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland’s Cornerbacks Are A Train Wreck

When it was announced that the Raiders would forgo pursuing quality free agent cornerbacks, opting to give the job to youngsters Travis Carrie, Keith McGill, and D.J. Hayden, a collective shudder rippled through the entire Raider Nation. With two of the three lacking experience, and the third looking like a first round bust, Raiders fans were rightly fearful about the secondary.

And thus far, those fears have proven to be very well founded.

Hayden has looked absolutely atrocious this exhibition season. He’s been burned badly on a number of plays, has given receivers too much cushion on others only to give up yet another first down, and has been penalized a number of times leading to either first downs, or the extension of a drive that should have been over.

In Oakland’s exhibition game against Seattle, McGill was burned badly for a 63 yard bomb from Russell Wilson to give the Seahawks an early score. He’s also been abused on a number of different plays and though he displays considerable talent, has been somewhat inconsistent.

Carrie, when he’s been in the game, has been solid but unspectacular thus far in the exhibition. About the best thing that can be said so far is that unlike McGill and Hayden, at least he hasn’t gotten torched as regularly.

With a cornerback group that includes Neiko Thorpe, Chimdi Chekwa, and rookie Dexter McDonald – who is no lock to make the roster – Oakland’s corners leave a lot to be desired. At this point, with no quality free agent corners lurking around out there, this is who Oakland has to ride or die with. And given what we’ve seen throughout the exhibition season, it’s a scary, scary prospect.

Oakland secondary coach Rod Woodson has his work cut out for him if he hopes to get these corners into shape before the season opener. Otherwise, the Raiders are left hoping that the defensive front can be so flat out dominant that they will cover up for the very glaring deficiencies in the secondary.

Maybe Charles Woodson, as ageless as he is, can slide over and man a corner again. At this point, it doesn’t seem like it could hurt.

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